THE revitalisation of the rice industry in the Northern Division is expected to cost the government about $2million next year.
And if all goes according to plan, the proposed allocation will result in the purchasing of more rice machinery to boost production.
The issue was among other topics discussed at the recent heads of government departments meeting at Muanidevo in Dreketi, Macuata.
Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said they made a proposal for the $2m budget.
"We are trying to revitalise rice farming here in the North and given the labour issues, we are looking into mechanising the rice industry," he said.
"This is all part of efforts to reduce the country's rice import bill of $20m.
"Our plan here in the North is to at least help the government reduce the bill little by little."