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Equipment to boost extension services

Manasa Kalouniviti
Thursday, August 10, 2017

AMBASSADOR Andrew Jacobs says, the equipment handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture under the SPC-EU improving key services to agriculture (IKSA) project, will strengthen the extension services to farmers and farming communities in Fiji's sugarcane belt.

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific made the comment after handing over about $300,000 worth of equipment to the ministry on Tuesday with the director-general of the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

"This project has supported the production and trading of horticulture crops. It has therefore also contributed to substituting the import of fruits and vegetables," Mr Jacobs said.

He said entrusting the assets to Fiji's institution responsible for the agriculture sector would ensure that these activities continued for the benefit of vulnerable communities in Fiji.

The assets were part of the IKSA program, one of several projects implemented by SPC and financed by the EU to assist farmers and communities in Fiji's sugarcane belt.

SPC's Dr Tukuitonga said: "The IKSA project has been working with farmers to develop their horticultural production in communities that traditionally have a high income dependence upon the production and harvesting of sugar cane."

He said they hoped the vehicles and other assets would assist the ministry to sustain their key services in the community and farmer developments and would continue to grow the horticultural market and create new income streams.

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