A GROUP of Cakaudrove farmers can now engage in sustainable rice farming practices after completing a three-day training at Muanidevo in Dreketi, Macuata last week.
Principal agricultural officer northern John Cox said the training was in line with government's intention of economically empowering rural people.
"These are farmers who already have the knowledge of rice farming and the training is basically to boost their know-how so they can engage in rice farming in a more sustainable way," he said.
"Training of rice farmers has become one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Agriculture as we work towards contributing to the reduction of the country's $40million rice import bill annually.
"The government also wants an educated society and with this sort of training, we are educating our farmers on how well they can produce rice."
Mr Cox said they were also focusing on turning all potential rice farming areas that were idle into production.
"Our aim is to produce more rice locally and by doing so, we are trying to make use of all the potential farming areas that are idle into production.
"Farmers need to know how well they can plant rice in order to make use of such land."
The farmers were happy to be part of the training.