THE introduction of new rice harvesting machines to Bua and Macuata is expected to attract more interest from farmers and help revitalise the ailing industry.
Principal agricultural officer North John Cox said these machines would save manpower hours and other costs associated with harvesting rice.
Mr Cox said the new machines were a two-in-one combined harvester and rice reaper.
He said Fiji currently produced approximately 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes of rice annually which was not enough.
Wainikoro rice farmer Basdeo Kumaran said the machines were good news for people like him.
"The machines mean we can now save costs on manpower as there will be no more excessive manpower needed since the machine is a multipurpose one," he said.
"People are also getting tired of rice harvesting and most of them have opted to look for other occupations.
"We cannot blame our labourers because rice cultivation and harvesting is a laborious task."
Mr Kumaran said the introduction of machines would renew interest among farmers.