IN an effort to curb import of potato seedlings, the Department of Agriculture is working with farmers to produce the seedlings locally.
New Zealand, with its temperate climate zone, has been supplying potato seedlings to Fiji for the past three years, according to the Department's director for extension services, Uraia Waibuta.
"Our research division has already started planting some potato seed trials from Australia and this is the variety which we used to plant in the late 1980s when we were trying to introduce potatoes to local farmers," Mr Waibuta said in a statement.
"The variety is called Red Pontiac and the results of the trials should be out sometimes soon and that should determine the actual variety that we will be planting for next year.
"The Red Pontiac variety is more suitable to the Western Division and also to the climate conditions that we have here in Fiji.
"We hope to multiply our own seedlings hence the potato seed trials. Currently, we cannot produce our own seedlings and we will continue to import seeds as we don't have a larger storage facility."
Mr Waibuta said harvested crops at the end of this month would have to be stored for another six months before it can be planted again for the next season.