FIJI Crops and Livestock Council CEO Lavinia Kaumaitotoya says the decision to focus their attention on the province of Ra was made well before the publication of a World Bank report which cited the region as the poorest in the country.
"We had identified this earlier and we had made the decision known to the Ministry of Agriculture to concentrate on Ra and the Northern Division to help develop new sourcing options for the people," said Mrs Kaumaitotoya.
The council has had meetings with the Ra Provincial Council and discussed ways and means to reduce poverty in the province.
"This begins next week where we hope to engage around 400 cassava, kava, cocoa and dalo farmers for a series of workshops.
"The workshop will also include current exporters who will basically show farmers what standards they expect to export and discuss supply chain and consistency issues."
She said the workshops would be co-hosted by the International Center for Trade (ITC) and held in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The rural engagement workshops are funded by the European Union under the Improvement of Key Services for Agriculture (IKSA) project.