Contracts and support for vegetable and rice farmers

farmer planting

FARMERS may be contracted to supply fresh produce to the Agriculture Marketing Authority  as part of a variety of new government initiatives to improve food security and help farmers.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, the AMA is finalizing what it calls ‘farmer contracts’ within two weeks.

AMA Chief Executive Officer, Alvin Sharma is quoted in a government statement giving farmers advise on how to diversify production income.
Mr. Sharma asked farmers to plant uro-ni vonu dalo, yellow cassava dalo, duruka, pulses, and turmeric as there are markets for the crops.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture gave farmers in Vunivau, Korokadi, and Bakale in Bua one hand-held tractor each to improve rice cultivation and production recently.

While giving the tractors, Agriculture Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy said the assistance would improve the livelihood of the farmers.

“We import 80 percent of our rice from Vietnam and the rest from Thailand as it is very expensive and that is the reason we are promoting rice to become 100 percent self-sufficient in rice in a couple of years.”

Dr. Mahendra Reddy

“The entire country has now realized the importance of agriculture with people being laid off from work and having reduced working hours, they are now turning to farming, and through such assistance, we want you to know that the entire country has realized the agriculture sector’s importance,” he said.

The minister said Fiji did not need to worry too much about food security.

According to the government statement, the farmers of other crops will get rice seeds to plant in 1-acre and a guaranteed market with Fiji Rice Limited.

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