FARMERS in the Ra Province have shown great appreciation for the joint initiative by the International Trade Centre and the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council which allows farmers to deal directly with exporters.
Farmer Samuela Donu said farmers worked hard but became disillusioned after being cheated for years by agents and middlemen.
"When this offer came to us, we were really happy because the price they offer was really good and it was big relief for us farmers," Mr Donu said.
Cocoa farmer Mario Keni said the project gave their youths an incentive to work in the cocoa industry.
ITC workshop facilitator Mere Naivola said the demonstration project linked farmers to the market.
"There are poor linkages, there is no exporter, the farmers sell their produce at a very low price. This is why we came in, bringing the exporters to their front gate," Ms Naivola said.
"So it's all about linkages — linking the suppliers to the buyers and in this workshop, we brought over a buyer whom we have consulted for many weeks."