A TOTAL of 84 booths have been booked by various government departments and private stakeholders in this year's four-day Crest Agriculture Show that started in Lautoka yesterday.
Agriculture Ministry deputy permanent secretary Uraia Waibuta said the ministry used 11 booths for various agricultural displays and information centres for members of the public.
Eleven booths were booked by other government departments with the remaining spaces taken up by private stakeholders.
Mr Waibuta said the focus of this year's show was to grab the attention of farmers to fully understand the significance of the agriculture sector to the economy.
"We want to use this show for rural communities to realise the importance of the agriculture sector and how they can contribute positively to the economy," he said.
"There is a need to change the mind-set of these farmers to live up to export market demands.
"The biggest challenge faced by the ministry is the inconsistent supply of root crops, fruits and vegetables to the export markets.
"Therefore, we are using this show to educate farmers on the significance of their roles in meeting local and international demands."
Mr Waibuta said new farming tools, technologies and machines would be displayed for various types of agricultural techniques.
"We have the technology available but the issue is how the farmers can adopt the new farming technologies offered in Fiji.
"All these new technologies will be available at the show — but they come with a cost."
Mr Waibuta, however, said the government would assist farmers with the purchase of new machines.
He said farmers had been urged to consider food security rather than depending on exporting agricultural products. The show was officially opened by Chinese Ambassador Huang Yong.