FORMER permanent secretary for Provincial Development Colonel Inia Batikoto Seruiratu was sworn in as the Minister for Agriculture by the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday.
Col. Seruiratu sees his new portfolio as a challenge since the agriculture sector plays a critical role in Fiji's economy.
He said he looked forward to his new role since the agriculture sector contributed a lot to Fiji's gross domestic product.
"We have a lot of resources, particularly looking at agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and we have to find ways to better utilise those resources to benefit Fiji in the area of integrated rural development," he said. "And we need to address the social economic issues that are out there and it is quite interesting to deal with agriculture."
Col. Seruiratu said as agriculture minister he needed to look at the weaknesses and strengths that the ministry had and then look at the organisation in the context of the changing environment.
"We need to see Fiji in terms of agriculture and see the opportunities that are there," he said.