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Ropate Valemei
Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE government is targeting food security and reliance on imported food.

This was revealed by the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at the Fiji Development Bank Small Business Awards in Suva on Thursday night.

Ratu Epeli said $2.276 million was set aside this year to support the food security program.

Also this year, the government launched the 'Feed Fiji First: Go Local' initiative through the Ministry of Agriculture targeting food security and reliance on imported food.

"This consisted of potato development, of revitalising rice, cocoa, ginger, vanilla, and having a more intensive look at the development schemes of the Sigatoka valley, the Saivou valley and Nadarivatu," Ratu Epeli said.

He said off-season production was also encouraged. Also this year, half a million dollars had been allocated to the National Centre for Small Medium Enterprise Development (NCSMED) for the purposes of assisting micro and small enterprises.

Similarly, through the Northern Development Programme (NDP), he said a further $1 million was made available for SMEs in the north.

"Through the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), government also made available $3 million for the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS) which can be utilised by all commercial banks and licensed financial institutions," Ratu Epeli said.





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