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New mill to boost rice production

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, March 17, 2014

THE new rice mill in the North will definitely bring improvements to the industry, says Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu.

Last week he visited the new site at Dreketi and met farmers and rice mill workers in Dreketi.

Mr Bolalevu said the purchase of the new mill would boost production and ease challenges faced by the farmers.

"It's a positive move and will benefit not only farmers but the industry as a whole," he said.

"Government has put aside a budget of about $1.8million for the new mill and other expenses relating to the set-up of the mill and the production issues. The new mill should be here by end of July and farmers can look forward to brighter days of producing rice and meeting demand."

Mr Bolalevu said government, through the Agriculture Ministry, had also worked with farmers in Dreketi by providing them technical advice.

"Government has also, over the past years, brought in new machines to help farmers harvest or plough rice farms," he said.

"It is part of our assistance program in helping the rice industry grow and decrease rice import costs."

Last month, Agriculture Minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said the new mill would probably be brought in from China or other Asian countries. He had said there had been concerns about the condition of the mill, which was outdated and operating since 1970.

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