FIJI imported $865million worth of food items in 2012.
Minister for Agriculture Lt-Col Inia Seruiratu revealed the figure while highlighting that importing food continued to be a major challenge for Fiji's agriculture sector.
"Fiji imported $865million worth of food items in 2012 and the major challenge for us is to produce more of these requirements locally while providing economic opportunities and greater self-reliance and enhanced food security in the process," he said.
He said other challenges, included high food prices.
"The agriculture sector in Fiji is challenged by our dependence on imported food, low private sector participation, inadequate diverse food production and productivity and market access for our exports.
"High food price is another issue which has forced some families to buy cheaper food, substitutes, and has led to a decline in the consumption of nutritious food causing malnutrition.
"Therefore, the imports of food from dairy products, meat, fruits, vegetables and processed food items are increasingly steady over the years."
He said government was addressing these challenge through various initiatives.
"Government is ensuring greater cohesion and effective implementation of the import substitution program, an export promotion program to increase self-reliance and reduce imports.
"The initiative of demand driven approach both for export and imports substitution commodities are focused in commercialisation and strengthening industry organisation and agro-business networks."
Lt-Col Seruiratu also highlighted the important contributions the sector had given to the country's economic development.
"It derives approximately Fiji's $600million in foreign exchange earnings and contributed 9.3 per cent of Fiji's GDP in 2012.
"The latest economic review by the Central Bank stated that this year the agriculture sector is forecasted to grow by 5.3 per cent whereby farming of animals will grow by 6.7 per cent.
"The subsistent sector will grow by 3.5 per cent, taro will grow by 5 per cent, and hydroponic farming by 1.5 per cent and sugar cane is expected to grow by 13.2 per cent," he added.