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Influx of fresh produce

Shalveen Chand
Monday, March 03, 2014

THERE will be an initial oversupply of fresh produce from the Naitasiri, Namosi and Rewa areas followed by a shortage, says Agriculture Minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu.

After a brief tour of the flood affected areas, Lt-Col Seruiratu said farmers would now be rushing to the market to get rid of the crops affected by the flood.

He said this would lead to prices dropping but soon enough there will be shortage and higher prices.

"The good thing is that plantations and farms on hillsides and higher ground have not been affected, so I guess this will help a lot," Lt-Col Seruiratu said.

"Our main focus is always the domestic market but we will have to see if the export is not affected as well.

"These areas usually supplement the main export zones which is Bua and Cakaudrove."

He added farming in low-lying areas was always risky.

"Government wants to promote agriculture as a source of income as well and we will do everything we can to ensure that the industry in these areas flourishes again," Lt-Col Seruiratu said.

The ministry will be distributing seedlings to farmers that have been affected.

The initial damage to agriculture has been estimated at a little over a million dollars.

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