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21 Fijians Received The Back To Rural Agriculture Kits

A total of 21 Fijians received the Back to Rural Agriculture kits yesterday. While officiating at the virtual handing over of the farm support kits, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and
27 Aug 2021 11:05
21 Fijians Received The Back To Rural Agriculture Kits
Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy handing over the Back to Rural Agriculture Kit to farmer Setareki Niubasaga in Suva on August 26, 2021.

A total of 21 Fijians received the Back to Rural Agriculture kits yesterday.

While officiating at the virtual handing over of the farm support kits, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy said the main objective of the programme was to support Fijians who had lost their jobs due to the current pandemic and were now returning to the rural areas to focus on agriculture.

“We are here to support our budding entrepreneurs who have decided to start up their agribusiness,” he said.

Mr Reddy encouraged the recipients to challenge the Ministry.

“This isn’t the end,” he said.

“I want the recipients to challenge us, and say ‘we have proved our worth, now can we get another leverage?’”

He said priority could be given to the programme in the next financial year as well if the reception and performance remained high.

“The entire Ministry looks forward to receiving reports of your success,” he said to the recipients.

In an earlier handing over ceremony in July, 10 pioneering recipients from the Western division had received the Back to Rural Agriculture kits.

Mr Reddy had said from the total applications received, 4,273 were from the Central division, 3631 from the Western, 161 from Eastern, and 82 were from the Northern division.

It is understood the remaining kits will be rolled out by the Minister in the coming weeks.

 

About The Kits
The $400-package includes:

a. $250 worth of farm implements andequipment,

b. $50 cash

c. $100 worth of planting materials.

 

The farm materials and equipment includes a farm knife, a digging fork, one digging spade, a 20 litre water bucket, one Jerry Can (water can), an axe, one 50 meter rope, a tarpaulin set, and one set of shade cloth.

 

Pioneering recipient of Back to Rural Agriculture kit Salanieta Marseu.

Pioneering recipient of Back to Rural Agriculture kit Salanieta Marseu.

Pioneering recipient
For former Fiji Airways staff, the Back to Rural Agriculture programme became a means to fly again.

After losing her job at the onset of COVID-19, Salanieta Marseu became one of the first western farmers to receive Back to Rural Agriculture kits in July.

“I had a piece of land I bought whilst I was still working,” she said.

“The idea was to use it for farming after retirement.

“However, when I got terminated, I realised there was no better time to use the land.”

Ms Marseu has 10 acres of land in Nadi.

“We will be intercropping to earn our revenue.”

She thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and its advisers for the programme initiative.

“The support they’ve shown to the agricultural industry is great,” she said.

Salanieta's Marseu's land in Nadi being prepared for farming.

Salanieta’s Marseu’s land in Nadi being prepared for farming.

 

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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