RA farmers have been told to move away from the usual traditional and subsistence farming and to focus on commercial farming in order to improve their standards of living.
Speaking to the people of Nailuva district in Ra, Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki urged farmers to be market driven and to make use of the many farming incentives provided by the government.
He said the government wanted the iTaukei farmers and landowners to fully utilise all available resources.
Cdr Cawaki told the villagers the government had assisted farmers by providing incentives such as the donation of tractors for farmers to use and providing export market agents.
"No one from outside will come and improve our lives. The onus is on the villagers to play their part," he said.
"We need to be market driven. If we can work hard we can receive money weekly until the end of the year like normal paid workers — we need to make use of the cassava export market that is here in Ra.
"We should program our farming and get advice from the agricultural officers on how to be consistent with your market supply.
"We are only poor because we are not making full use of our resources, we need to work hard otherwise we will continue to lag behind in development."
There has been an unprecedented demand for cassava by exporters has fuelled the enthusiasm for agriculture growers in the Western Division.
It has transformed the local landscape with previously idle land now being ploughed and planted with the staple root crop.