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Fiji Time: 2:22 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Board to buy $1.8m mill

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, February 20, 2014

THE Rewa Rice Limited board, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is seeking new technologies on the internet for the purchase of a new rice mill at Dreketi on Vanua Levu.

This was revealed by the minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu while speaking to his staff in Labasa yesterday.

Lt-Col Seruiratu said if things went according to plan, the new mill should be up and running in two or three months.

"We would probably look to China and other Asian countries for the purchase of the new mill," he said.

"A budget with a provision of around $1.8million has been set aside for the purchase of the mill.

"There have been concerns about the condition of the mill whose technology is outdated and has been operating since 1970."

Lt-Col Seruiratu said Fiji imported around $50m worth of rice last year which could be grown locally.

"I met the rice farmers yesterday but the Ministry of Agriculture will only focus more on the production side of the rice industry.

"It does not mean we are neglecting the whole value chain because processing and marketing are still part of the value chain, so agriculture of course is aware of the concerns by the farmers."