ABOUT 120 canefarmers in the Western Division were taught raising vegetable seedlings and nursery management to increase income opportunities prior to the cane harvest season.
The EU-funded Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture project, facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, is assisting canegrowers to diversify into cash crops with a focus on utilising land previously unused for cane.
The $8.8million project established in July 2012 and scheduled to end next year is designed to assist canefarmers in the lead up to the end of the preferential quota system to the EU market which ends in 2017.
EU project officers Pio Tikoisuva and Timote Waqainibete organised a series of workshops in June this year at private nurseries in Nadi, Lautoka and Ba.
"Farmers are now intercropping and planting as cover crops the legumes cow pea and long bean, water melon, and okra," said Mr Waqainibete.
"The training has inspired confidence and motivation in farmers.
"The workshops were a great opportunity to strengthen co-ordination, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of farmer skills in sustainable seedling production."