Close to 4000 farmers struggling from the combined effects of TC Yasa, TC Ana and lately, COVID-19, will benefit from the second phase of the Cash for Land Cultivation initiative scheduled to be rolled out this week.
Under the initiative farmers from across the country will receive a $200 cash assistance for farming-related expenses, payable via two installments, with funding provided by the Australian Government via the Australian High Commission.
To qualify farmers will need to have one acre of cleared and cultivated land to farm on. Farmers who wish to register for the ‘Cash for Cultivation’ initiative can call the Ministry of Agriculture helpline on 1523. A monitoring mechanism is also in place to ensure that the assistance is put to good use in line with overall targets to ensure farmers are building back their lives and most importantly, provided a sustainable food supply.
Spearheaded by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji in partnership with the MOA, the project will assist 1010 farmers in the Central Division, 1135 in the West, 830 in the North and 525 in the Eastern Division.
Farmers will receive $75 in the first installment which they can use to buy seedlings or farming equipment or pay for labour. The release of the second and final installment of $125 will depend on cultivation progress on the land.
Today’s announcement was presided over by Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy and ADRA Fiji Country Director Iliapi Tuwai who thanked donors for their support.
In the first phase of assistance that took place in March 1000 farmers benefitted with funding assistance from the NZ Aid Programme and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO).