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Fiji Time: 3:06 AM on Tuesday 22 April

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Seed distribution to start from next week

Ioane Burese
Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE distribution of seeds to Western Division farmers affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan will begin on Monday, says acting principal agricultural officer Viliame Mainawalala.

He said in a statement the seeds had arrived at their offices in Lautoka, Sigatoka and Rakiraki and would be shared out to their district stations in Tavua, Ba, Nadi and Vatumali for repacking into farmer size packs before distribution to the farmers.

"The seeds are only for farmers on the mainland and Vatulele as farmers in the Yasawas and Malolo have already received theirs," Mr Mainawalala said.

"The seeds are for off-season production and they include french beans, long beans, cucumber, watermelon, okra, cowpeas, eggplants, chinese cabbage and tomato. We are urging farmers to have their land ready for those seeds that will be directly planted and nurseries for those seeds that need to be raised first before they are transplanted to their prepared fields".

The Department of Agriculture allocated $221,066 in its rehabilitation program for the purchase of seeds, kumala cuttings and dalo suckers to farmers affected by TC Evan.

In the Northern Division, principal agricultural officer John Cox said they were supplying kumala cuttings to areas worst affected by the cyclone and these included the islands of Kavewa, Druadrua, Kia, Mali, Yaqaga, Tavea, Yadua and Galoa together with the coastal villages of Naivaka, Naviqiri, Nasau, Koroinasolo and the settlements of Logana and Cobue.

"These are our priority areas where we will focus our rehab work before looking at the areas at the periphery of the worst affected areas and later on those villages and settlements on the provincial boundaries close to the cyclone affected areas," Mr Cox said.