THE food import bill for Fiji stands at $820million and food that can be grown locally but are still being imported amounts to $500m.
This was highlighted by the deputy secretary for agriculture development Uraia Waibuta during the Yam Day celebration in Koronivia yesterday.
Mr Waibuta said Fiji could use yams to reduce the food import bill, adding that it was also an important crop for the Agriculture Ministry.
"The ministry with one of its vision statement states to reduce the risk of food insecurity. Yams are potential food security crops as they can adapt to a wide range of soil types and also drought prone areas," he said.
"Yams are resilient in nature and they have the potential to mitigate food insecurity to some extent after natural disasters due to their longer shelf life and adaptability if tubers are harvested and properly stored."