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Fiji Time: 6:13 AM on Saturday 19 April

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$5m for food security

By SHAYAL DEVI
Saturday, December 21, 2013

FUNDING of about $5.7million will be provided to enhance food security programs across the country, especially for those in the coconut, ginger, vanilla and rice industries.

This was a comment by Agriculture Minister Colonel Inia Seruiratu at the opening of the new Fiji National University's Aquaponics Farm in Legalega, Nadi.

Col. Seruiratu said the government was committed to boost agriculture production.

"Government will continue to provide duty-free exemption on agricultural implements and machinery," he said.

"Additionally, duty rate will be eliminated on all other agricultural items that currently carry a duty rate of 5 per cent.

"Government will also continue to encourage young people to become farmers by extending its agriculture scholarship announced in next year's budget."

He said this was something that encouraged young people to take advantage of Fiji's vast agricultural potential.

"I want to commend FNU for the collaborative effort and in creating not only relevant but exciting programs that would entice our future generations to see agriculture as a viable profession.

"Government has also assured that funding will continue for the agriculture extension services for both crop and livestock farmers to promote the adoption of innovative farming methods and practices.

"An increased allocation of $1m has been made for these initiatives.

"And $1m has also been allocated for the dairy development program."

Col. Seruiratu said if more young people become farmers, this would give them sustainable livelihoods, boost the nation's food security and reduce Fiji's dependence on imported food.