Agricultural growth impeded

MICHAEL Finau Brown says the biggest stumbling block that has impeded growth in agriculture is the disconnect from farm to market.

And it is for this very reason that the Nature’s Way Cooperative Fiji Ltd CEO decided to enter the political arena.

After more than 45 years in the agro industry he said that the lack of progress was because of the disconnect between farmers’ needs and market operations.

He said this dearth in understanding posed as an obstacle to farmers’ progress and achieving their full potential.

Mr Brown said instead of thriving and re-investing in their farms, the majority of fruit, vegetable and livestock farmers in the country were making very difficult choices just to stay alive.

Mr Brown said during his tenure at the Agriculture Department he had noted there was a disconnect in the non-sugar sector because of unco-ordinated planning from farm to market.

He said there were practical solutions to addressing the issue but it would require a buy-in from all stakeholders involved.

It is this wealth of experience, combined with nine years stint as Nature’s Way CEO, that he hopes to bring to the fore as a provisional candidate for the National Federation Party.

During his term as CEO, Mr Brown steered his team to win four Fiji Business Excellence Awards and established internationally certified fruits and vegetables treatment for export.