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Commercialise Agriculture, Mahendra Reddy Tells Farmers

Farmers should see agriculture as a business, said Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Waterways Mahendra Reddy. He made the comment at Drasa Johnson Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative model farm yesterday in
07 Oct 2021 10:00
Commercialise Agriculture, Mahendra Reddy Tells Farmers
Mahendra Reddy

Farmers should see agriculture as a business, said Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Waterways Mahendra Reddy.

He made the comment at Drasa Johnson Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative model farm yesterday in Lautoka.

Mr Reddy noted an increase in agricultural activities as a source of income at the onset of the COVID-19.

 

“In 2020, agricultural exports had increased from 2019 in volume by 16 per cent and in value by 24 per cent,” he said.

“This year, for the past six months, our agricultural exports have gone up by 8 per cent.”

 

Substitute imports
He said the ministry was working to increase agricultural exports and also encourage the opening tourism industry to substitute imports with local produce.

“I challenge the farmers to rise and meet the demands.

“It is time we push beyond existing boundaries,” he said.

With the support of Ministry of Agriculture, European Union and Dialogue Fiji, Drasa Johnson Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative introduced their model farm yesterday.

 

Cooperative president Amar Dass said the model farm resulted in higher yield.

“Higher yield means more revenue fir the cooperative,” he said.

“Previously, what would generally take two months to harvest, we are now able to harvest in a couple of weeks,” he said.

He said the model farm was efficient and did not require hard labor.

 

“As such, we can harvest more vegetables at a short period of time.”

Optimal production was achieved through the model farm, Mr Dass said.

 

Innovative ways to revitalize economy
The European Union ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, Sujiro Seam said the model farm was an innovate way to generate economies.

“The new farming technology would help improve business opportunities, reduce cost, and increase income,” he said.

“At the end, the truth of the success of what we finance rests with you.”

He said the agricultural stakeholders needed to work together to rebound the economy.

 

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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