SANDALWOOD and other resource-based industries should be seen as viable option for young farmers to pursue, Agriculture Minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said yesterday.
"It has a huge potential in Fiji. Sandalwood is one of the trades that was traded in the early days, but unfortunately there was no plan in place for its replenishment," he said.
He said the Ministry of Forests, with other agencies, were investing in nurseries for the valuable plant.
Earlier this year, the Department of Forests acting senior scientific officer, Bimlesh Dayal, told this newspaper that on maturity, a tree could be worth about $15,000.
He said the ministry was encouraging young farmers to consider sandalwood and other resource-based industries to work in.
"It's not only sandalwood, it's the whole resource-based sector. We need new replacement farmers, and we are encouraging the young people to participate in this sector," he said.
The sandalwood industry contributed $2.59million to the country's gross domestic product last year.