Staff retention bid

THE significant increase in pay scale through the civil service reforms has helped the Agriculture Ministry retain specialised officers.

Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu told Parliament last week that staff retention was a huge challenge.

He was answering a question from Opposition MP Anare Vadei, who asked what Government was doing to retain agriculture staff, especially professionals who were in qualified areas.

“I do admit the fact that retention has been a challenge. One, is terms and conditions and of course in Fiji, it is even very challenging because most of the regional and international organisations are based in Fiji,” he said.

Mr Seruiratu said organisations such as the Pacific Community (SPC), University of the South Pacific, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations Environment Program, United Nations Development Program and Innovation Funds for Agricultural Transformation continued to hire locals who were specialised in one specific area of agriculture.

“I am thankful that in the reform, our specialists have had significant increase in their pay scale as well,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“I have mentioned that the restructuring is part of the reform and this is also an exercise that we are currently doing, to look at the specific skills and areas in which they get assistance so that we can retain them for long.”