FARMERS in the small rice farming community of Qaraniqoli in Dreketi, Macuata, will now have a better idea of how to use rice machines in their farms.
Farmers gathered for a rice field day in the area on Wednesday where they learnt about rice mechanisation.
Principal agricultural officer northern John Cox yesterday said the farmers were shown the functions of machines such as combine rice harvesters and work-behind.
"We demonstrated to the farmers how to use these machines and now they will be able to use them well in their farms," Mr Cox said.
"Such mechanisation efforts are expected to solve the problem of labour shortage and the machines will efficiently assist the farmers in harvesting.
"This is all part of the government's intention to expand and increase rice production in the country. This is part of efforts to reduce the rice import bill."
He said it was good to see farmers from different ethnic groups taking time out to be part of the field day.