Now’s Time To Start Planting, Urges Reddy

Rice farmers are requested to pay $15/hour for labour costs, with the balance covered by Fiji Rice Lim­ited.
05 Jan 2021 16:45
Now’s Time To Start Planting, Urges Reddy
Farm fields in Vanua Levu submerged in water following Tropical Cyclone Yasa. Photo: Leon Lord

Agriculture minister, Mahen­dra Reddy, has urged Fijians to plant food in a bid to save money.

He emphasised the significance of food security, and said families should practise continued readi­ness in the face of the cyclone sea­son.

“We are in the middle of our cy­clone season,” he said.

The Agriculture ministry has rolled out its rehabilitation pro­gramme included distribution of vegetable seeds packs, kumala and bele cuttings, and day-old chicks and feed.

“Another rehabilitation pr­gramme I recently launched that targeted the revival of the rice industry in the North, is where we are partnering with Fiji Rice Limited to provide land prepara­tory work for rice farmers,” Mr Reddy said.

Rice farmers are requested to pay $15/hour for labour costs, with the balance covered by Fiji Rice Lim­ited.

Mr Reddy acknowledged the sac­rifices of his staff members who gave up their holidays and families to conduct damage assessments, fol­lowing TC Yasa.

“However, we are not out of the woods yet,” he said.

“We must continue to be prepared.

“It is unfortunate that we seem to be now receiving cyclones more of­ten as opposed to before.

“Then again, we should not be sur­prised given the change in climate, which is the fight that has been tak­en on by our Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, to the global arena on behalf of the Pacific region.

“A fight that was not of our doing, rather the fault of larger industri­alised nations who continue to pol­lute and poison our environment.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that we undertake some sort of ag­ricultural activity if you have not done so already, to safeguard your food security, and ensure that you always have a fresh source of veg­etables to take care of nutritional needs, and save money in the long run.”


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