NEWS

Ratu Naevo Farms Cooperative Limited Takes Leap

“They have been able to access financing for the purchase of the tractor by way of some grant components from Ministry of Commerce and Trade and of course, they’ve got a loan from FDB, and Ministry of Agriculture has provided some assistance.”
25 Feb 2022 13:55
Ratu Naevo Farms Cooperative Limited Takes Leap
The Attorney-General and Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, with members of the Ratu Naevo Farms Cooperative at Nawaka Village, Lautoka. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, commends the Ratu Naevo Farms Cooperative for making good use of their land lease money.

The cooperative had used the money to buy a tractor, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Tourism and the Fiji Development Bank (FDB).

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, while launching the cooperative and handing over a Massey Fergusson 2635 tractor at Nawaka Village, Lautoka, on Wednesday, said the use of the lease money allowed the cooperative to develop its assets, develop their earning capacity and become more prosperous.

“This is one of the objectives of course when we had equal distribution land lease monies is for individuals or people who come together as a group to take advantage of this income source that they’re getting directly, and they’ve chosen to invest in that fashion,” the A-G said.

“This particular landowning unit, this family, they’ve gone ahead, and they’ve already started the farming. They have a very good system in place, there’s a lot of cooperation indeed they’ve gone ahead with the assistance, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade formed a cooperative.

“They have been able to access financing for the purchase of the tractor by way of some grant components from Ministry of Commerce and Trade and of course, they’ve got a loan from FDB, and Ministry of Agriculture has provided some assistance.”

The repayments of the loan would be done through the equal distribution of land lease monies that the cooperative members will contribute, with the FDB taking a lien over that.

The A-G also commended the cooperative’s plan to pay off the loan within the three-year period, saying this would solidify their relationship with FDB.

Ratu Naevo Farms Cooperative Limited secretary Varanisese Derenalagi said the 47 members would contribute not more than $1000 to pay two-thirds of the total tractor cost of $77,200, which would be $27,000 to FDB, which they aim to do by the end of 12 months.

“The Naevo family started a cash collection last year in November. After we established the co-op from a series of meetings and apart from our contributions through soli, we will be hiring it (tractor) out to members of the co-op,” she said.

Personal contributions from family gatherings will also go towards the loan repayment.

“We are grateful towards the A-G and his ministry in choosing us to be able to pursue this arrangement of payment,” she said.

“We are blessed and humbled to be chosen as one of the recipients of Government assistance. We are going to keep up with our commitment of the agreement that we pay off and oblige by the conditions of the agreement with the Government.”

FDB’s chief executive officer Saud Minam said they focused on mechanising the farming initiative to ensure that those borrowing money were not borrowing way above their payment capacity.

“If you’ve got the cooperative then everyone can pitch in,” Mr Minam said.

“So that becomes easy for a cooperative to borrow money and for us, it becomes easy, so we can lend the money to these guys so that’s a win-win situation, from both sides.”

Feedbacksalote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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