Govt Pays More Than $3m To Farmers

This was part of the Government’s four fast acting assistance under the Ministry of Agriculture to farmers who were badly affected as a result of flood­ing and the cyclone.
06 Feb 2022 17:30
Govt Pays More Than $3m To Farmers
Farmers affected by recent floods will be receiving Government cash assistance of $250. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fijian Government has paid out more than $3million to 12,747 full-time farmers affected by the recent Tropical Cyclone Cody.

This was part of the Government’s four fast acting assistance under the Ministry of Agriculture to farmers who were badly affected as a result of flood­ing and the cyclone.

The payments were done on the M-PAi­SA and MyCash payment platforms.

Making the announcement on Friday, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said as a result of TC Cody, the farmers suffered a $1.9million blow.

This he said was for non-sugar agri­culture as sugar rehabilitation was han­dled by the Ministry of Sugar Industry.

“In the aftermath of Cyclone Cody our damage assessments revealed that farm­ers bore the storm’s heaviest burden,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said in some instances entire fields were inundated and ruined with flood waters which affected crops with much damage to livestock.

“Our farms not only feed Fiji, but they are also increasingly one of our greatest drivers of income and livelihoods.”

Applications for $250 assistance

Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy revealed that the ministry had received 43, 447 applications for the $250 assistance.

He said that teams found out that some farmers had applied four to five times and some household’s had more than one member applying.

“Some people in the urban areas had ap­plied, so they were removed, some of the people who had nothing to do with farm­ing had applied, so they were removed. There were farmers who were not at all affected and they were also removed.”

He urged the recipients to utilise the money wisely to be able to be back on track.

Update on assistance to affected farmers

Details on the four fast acting Govern­ment assistance programmes, through the Ministry of Agriculture for farmers, whose crops were devastated, were also explained by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said the first assistance was the quick deploying of cash assistance of $250 to farmers for land preparation, cultivation and procuring planting ma­terials.

“Today, we will be paying out these funds for M-PAiSA and MyCash plat­forms to 12,747 farmers whose farms were damaged by TC Cody for a total payout of more than $3million,” he said.

The second initiative was focused on the Bilateral Quarantine Arrangement or BQA farms that produce for the ex­port market. Through this Government assisted 177 farmers, each with $86 worth of fertiliser, and $96 worth of seedlings.

“We had a target of 250 under this as­sistance package, we are still waiting for some affected farmers to complete their land preparation.”

The third support programme was the extension of the farm seed packages for farmers who have large farms. Farmers were provided seeds up to a quarter acre to kick start production for income sup­port. 103 farmers were assisted.

The fourth was the provision of garden seed packs for those living in the peri-ur­ban and urban areas who wished to grow their vegetables in their backyard.

He said to date, 13,206 households were provided with seed packages of five dif­ferent commodities.

The cost of each packet was $15.

Interested parties could visit the near­est distribution or agriculture office if they need the seed packs.



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