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Fiji Time: 2:20 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Boost for farmers

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, December 16, 2013

A COMPANY that will export root crops will soon open its doors in Tavua.

The opening of Maqere Exports, a local company that is in the final stages of setting up a factory in Tavua, will be a boost for root crop farmers in the Rakiraki and Tavua area.

The agricultural officer for Tavua/Nadarivatu, Vinay Sami confirmed in an Information Ministry statement the setting up of the factory.

"Maqere Exports will open soon and they would be able to buy cassava and other root crops from farmers in the Tavua, Nadarivatu and the larger Ra province to export them to markets overseas," he said.

"Through the opening of the facility, the company is looking to export two containers of cassava every fortnight."

There is only one export facility in Tavua now.

However, Mr Sami said more companies were lining up to set-up such facilities in rural areas due to the high number of farmers who practised subsistence farming in villages.

"Ensuring that these farmers make the transition to commercial farming is an aim of the agriculture department and we are working very closely with potential farmers to see this come to fruition," he said.

"Tavua currently has only one registered farmer who is exporting egg plant, however the potential is there to grow.

"Interest is increasing and the department is expecting an increase in vegetable farming in the new year."

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said in a statement that the government would ensure that farmers looking at diversifying and increasing their yield receive the right technical support and assistance.

"Commercial farming is still very new to farmers in the rural areas, however with help from the agriculture department, farmers should be able to transit to commercial farming," he said.