INVOLVING school students in the Agricultural Show is vital for agricultural development, says Agriculture Ministry deputy permanent secretary Uraia Waibuta.
Students in Lautoka took part in the opening parade march, oratory contest, and a poster and garden competition.
Mr Waibuta said it was important for students to know the importance of the agriculture sector to the national economy. He said agriculture was often neglected by students when it came to career choices.
"This show is to educate the students on the importance of the agricultural sector and how it has transformed the lives of many farmers," said Mr Waibuta.
"We understand that most students target white collar jobs but the focus is also to show them the advantages of agriculture and how vital it is to the economy.
"Through this show, we will be teaching students the importance of being highly skilled in various agricultural farming activities, so when they drop out of school, they will be aware of the opportunities available and the skills needed to become good farmers."
Mr Waibuta acknowledged the sponsors for their commitment and effort in making the start of this year's show a success.
"Members of the public, especially farmers, are encouraged to attend the show and seek advice from experts on how to improve and increase their yields."