FARMERS in the country will soon benefit from an innovative initiative designed to supplement incomes derived from sugarcane farming.
With over $18 million funding by the European Union, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's (SPC) land resources division (LRD)will soon embark on a four-year strategy to develop cane farmers in supplementing their income by providing niche markets for produce and vegetables.
"For example, if a farmer has 10 acres of arable land, we will conduct soil tests to determine which land is most suited to cane farming and this area will only be used for sugarcane planting," said the LRD's acting director Inoke Ratukalou.
The programme will also ensure that all land is put to use in growing crops suitable for the soil type.
"The remainder of the land will be utilised for produce and vegetables which we would have already established markets for."
"This program is being funded by the EU and assisted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva who will source markets for our crops.
"ITC will inform farmers of which crops are needed and the quantity required," Mr Ratukalou said.
"We will supply farmers the seeds and planting equipment they will need to meet this requirement."
Mr Ratukalou said the new initiative would benefit growers better than traditional marketing methods used in the past.
"Previously farmers just mass produced produce and vegetables and many times because too much was farmed, a lot of it went to waste.
"By linking farmers with exporters, we will better manage production," Mr Ratukalou said.