FARMING is a profession and people need to shift from the subsistence mentality to a commercial mentality.
Newly-appointed Minister for Agriculture Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said the initiative announced by the government on the loans provided to students who wished to become farmers was exciting yet challenging.
However, he said this would come with great responsibility.
"This initiative is very much appreciated and we hope that with the involvement of all stakeholders we should be able to achieve more as per the intentions of government," Lt-Col Seruiratu said.
"Empowering our youths with the necessary skills and knowledge is very critical," said Lt-Col Seruiratu.
He said they would put in place programs for each recipient who qualified for the scholarships.
Lt-Col Seruiratu said this was where farm management and extension methods would come in.
"We need to have plans in place, we need to set programs for them most importantly monitoring them very closely particularly when we are dealing with taxpayers' money," he said.
"We have the responsibility to monitor the programs very closely not only for the sake of the funds that have been allocated but for the economy — for the growth that we need to achieve.
"When we monitor closely we will minimise the risks of losses and increase the productivity as expected."