Fiji Time: 11:07 PM on Friday 19 December

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Salad bowl takes a hit

Maciu Malo
Friday, February 22, 2013

VEGETABLE farmer Dharmen Kumar of the Sigatoka Valley says many farmers in the 'Salad Bowl' of Fiji suffered losses during natural disasters that hit the country last year.

wo floods at the beginning of the year and the tropical cyclone in December destroyed many farms in the area.

Mr Kumar said it would take another six to seven months before he could fully recover.

"Our production has decreased compared to previous years and we are struggling to get back on track," Mr Kumar said.

"This is the tenth year that I have been in the business and I have never experienced such problems," said Mr Kumar.

Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary Uraia Waibuta said vegetable supply in the local markets was expected to normalise by the end of next month.

"We are expecting to see cabbage, long bean and other vegetables back in the local market by the end of March," Mr Waibuta said. "Farmers have started harvesting vegetables and the market supply will normalise by the end of next month."

Mr Kumar grows long bean, pawpaw, eggplant and cassava on 16 acres of land.