FARMERS and export agents in Bilalevu, Sigatoka have been urged to be consistent in exporting quality products to maintain their export markets.
Agriculture Minister Colonel Inia Seruiratu reminded farmers that the quality of produce exported must never be compromised.
"The department wishes to emphasise to our farmers as well as the agricultural technical staff the need to maintain the markets that we have secured abroad," he said. "That is very critical for Fiji.
"Farmers and likewise government officials should know that it is getting tougher and it is very competitive out there in the foreign markets particularly on agriculture produce.
"There is a lot of competition and pressure coming in from other countries for the same market that is available with our trading partners. Therefore the onus is on you farmers to look after your farms well and work together with the agriculture officials as we cannot afford to lose the markets that we have at the moment."
Col. Seruiratu said farmers should be on the competitive edge over other competitors. He said farmers played a significant role in building the economy.
"Without the farmers there is no agriculture and without them we have no food as well as fresh produce exports."
He said all agricultural stakeholders had very important roles to play and it was time everyone stepped up and assisted in the country's economy. Col. Seruiratu thanked the farmers, saying government appreciated the role they played.
"We rely on you farmers for food and other things and most importantly for valley farmers in bringing in the much needed foreign income into the country.
"This government acknowledges the work that you are doing and we hope that we will work together to continue to strengthen it," he said.