THIRTEEN villages and seven settlements in Nadarivatu will be part of a smallholder farming project worth more than $900,000.
Deputy permanent secretary for agriculture Uraia Waibuta confirmed the Partnership in High Value Project (PHVP) was introduced for the local niche market.
"It will encourage them to specifically farm high value produce for specific markets," he said.
"In this case they will be producing especially for the municipal and tourist markets."
While launching the new project in Nadarivatu, Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu said what was evident in developing the design for PHVP was that many poor communities in remote villages in the area had the potential to increase the productivity of marketable crops because they had good resource base.
"Even though the local market for some crops can be limited, there is a strong demand for high value crops, high value crops are being imported and there is a large and unsatisfied demand from the large hotel sector and tourism, also exporters are often unable to meet demand due to lack of local supplies," he said.
Mr Seruiratu said the project would enable the poor to overcome poverty and hardship by enhancing livelihoods through market opportunities and linkages and by reducing vulnerability.
He said this would be done by strengthening the communities and developing and strengthening farmers groups.
The project was funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development which gave more than $950,000.