NATION

42 Farmers Benefit From Nubu Farm Project

Mr Bainimarama said the farm would grow previously import-dependant produce like carrots, celery and traditional Fijian staples like duruka and dalo.
17 Jun 2020 13:44
42 Farmers Benefit From Nubu Farm Project
Tui Nubu Ratu Manoa Naleba and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the launch of the Nubu Farms initiative. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

The 42 farmers earmarked to begin the Nubu Farm Project on Nadarivatu are grateful to Government for standing by their values of leaving no Fijian behind.

The farmers yesterday received their seedlings, planting equipment and fertilisers from the Ministry of Agriculture at the Nadarivatu High School grounds in Nadarivatu in Ba.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, representative Sikeli Matawalu, said they were indebted to the Fijian Government for the timely initiative that would benefit their families.

“Everything has been provided to us, the onus now is on us to deliver and to be able to harvest the crops that has been required of us,” Mr Matawalu said.

“The Prime Minister rightly said that Nadarivatu had the right weather and climatic pattern to be able to plant vegetables that we usually spend millions in getting from overseas.

“We are grateful that even for people like us, who live in the remotest highlands on Viti Levu, have not been forgotten in such initiatives.

“This assistance means development for families, villagers and society.”

During the launch of the Nubu Farms initiative, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the farmers would be contracted under the Fiji Agro Marketing and would enjoy its full benefits.

Mr Bainimarama said the farm would grow previously import-dependant produce like carrots, celery and traditional Fijian staples like duruka and dalo.

“As contracted farmers, they will made members of the Fiji National Provident Fund and can access funds to better their children’s education, upgrade their homes and save for retirement,” he said.

“Rather than going at it alone, these farmers are members of a fully-managed commercial farm.”

He said in 2019 alone, Fiji imported more than $5.4 million worth of carrots and over $1.8 million worth of celery from overseas markets.

“While this year’s tourism industry has crippled, we’re looking hard to getting the local agriculture sector back up and running.”

He assured villagers that the ministry was committed to supplying planting materials to Nubu farms in the next three years.

He said this gave the villagers “time to achieve large scale commercial farming that will assist you and your family for generations to come.”

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy also handed out poultry manure, fertilisers and bacterium liquids to assist in the decomposition of green waste.

He said a tractor would be on standby with its own operator to assist the 42 farmers in the cultivating of their farmland.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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