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Fiji Time: 2:28 PM on Friday 25 April

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Positive difference

Priya Chand
Friday, February 08, 2013

A positive difference in the agricultural sector is expected to be seen in a few years' time after Fiji National University (FNU) students were given a scholarship for agriculture studies after which they would receive a loan package to the value of $70,000.

Speaking at the launch of the agriculture scholarship program at FNU, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the initiative guaranteed to make a difference in a few years' time as a new breed of farmers would be formally trained and equipped with the tools to do their job.

"The aim of the program is to produce a new generation of farmers in Fiji and to encourage young people to become farmers and give them the ability to do so," Commodore Bainimarama said.

"We want people with the right skills to optimise food production so that we can feed ourselves and become food exporters, not importers.

"They also need to understand and know that to run a farm, they need to be also commercially savvy and astute — it is after all a business," he said.

FNU vice chancellor Doctor Ganesh Chand said agriculture had accounted for more than 15 per cent of Fiji's GDP in past years (1999) and for two thirds of its 310,000-strong workforce.