FIJI spends more than $600million a year on imported products and this is a challenge the agriculture sector must overcome, says Department of Agriculture's permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi .
Speaking at the opening of the two-day Crest Northern Agriculture Show in Labasa yesterday, Mr Ligairi said despite the country's strong and vibrant sector, such challenges "inhibit our will to proceed to greater heights".
"The ongoing trend of being reliant and dependent on imported foods has resulted in the implementation of the food security program," Mr Ligairi said.
"This program is to develop crop and livestock enterprises to substitute imports of commodities that can be produced locally. Government is focused on reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2014 and increase production of local commodities."