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System to ensure premium products

Torika Tokalau
Monday, May 19, 2014

FOUR groups of 16 vegetable farmers on Viti Levu are a part of a pilot project in the Participant Guarantee System (PGS), which mordernises agriculture to provide reliable, consistent and quality produce to resorts.

Under the PGS project, which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the groups from Koronivia, Qereqere, Narata and Nawamagi villages aim to produce premium products such as tomatoes for a premium price.

"The project, although overseen by PGS, is completely owned by villagers themselves," PGS consultant Dr Rob Erskine-Smith said.

"It is run by the farmers and the aim is to produce bulk products together so they have the right quantity at the right time to supply to resorts and other buyers."

Dr Erskine-Smith said to practise PGS, a group of farmers form a company and run their farm business as members. The group consists of a president, secretary and treasurer.

The company is then owned equally by members and profits are paid to members according to the produce they supply.

"The training phase has been completed and now the farmers are into the practical side of things."

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