Fiji Time: 11:52 PM on Wednesday 1 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Access to quality food

Shayal Devi
Friday, December 20, 2013

FOOD security is one of the biggest challenges for any country and it is one of the key mandates of government to ensure people have access to good quality and nutritious food.

Speaking at the opening of the new FNU aquaponics farm in Legalega, Nadi, Minister for Agriculture Colonel Inia Seruiratu said Fiji needed to be more efficient in production of food.

"We also need to constantly explore new agricultural methods, introduce new technology, new seed varieties, new crops and new farming techniques," he said.

He praised the initiatives implemented by FNU in finding new and innovative ways for agriculture and said the new aquaponics farm would be instrumental in reducing agricultural import bills.

"This centre will not only produce high-end products such as vegetables and herbs to meet local demand but also teach students on how crops can be grown.

"We hope the availability of this knowledge will not only generate new interest amongst our farmers but also get people to invest more in agriculture."

The farm includes horticulture nursery, turf farm, cut flower garden, native plants and vegetable garden beds.

"The site is expected to contain an eco-centre for nature education, an eco-trail, an eco-medication space, a herbal garden containing typical Fijian herbs, children's centre where they will learn the value of the environment while playing.

"The aquaponics site also nurtures fish and plants together in one integrated system."

The system of aquaponics came into effect in early May and all the material for the system has been received from New Zealand.

Col. Seruiratu said the system was good for off-season crops and the first trial was conducted in September for lettuce, beans, chillies and tomatoes.

"It will now venture also into other high value crops like basil and parsley - this has a higher demand in the market."

Meanwhile, the first crop of 80 aquaponics students are expected to graduate next month.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Australia applauds Fiji
  2. FLP mourns death of party member
  3. Memorial for former teacher
  4. Advice against unhealthy diets
  5. Aussies restore ties
  6. Relief for Westerners as rain falls
  7. Forgiveness and reconciliation to benefit vanua
  8. Police treat death of girl, 13, as murder
  9. Longer dry spell looms
  10. Ministry gets updates

Top Stories this Week

  1. Ro Teimumu is Leader of the Opposition Wednesday (24 Sep)
  2. Mata apologises Wednesday (24 Sep)
  3. Luveni vacates her seat, Tuitubou is now an elected MP Wednesday (24 Sep)
  4. PM designates Cabinet portfolios Thursday (25 Sep)
  5. Our new Speaker Thursday (25 Sep)
  6. Moment of silence Thursday (25 Sep)
  7. Salary budget soon Thursday (25 Sep)
  8. PM's first official trip Wednesday (24 Sep)
  9. PM: Work with me Monday (29 Sep)
  10. Police intervene Friday (26 Sep)