FIJI's poultry industry has been identified as an important industry because of its economic and social contribution to the development of the country's economy.
This was revealed by the Minister for Agriculture, Joketani Cokanasiga.
While opening the Awesome Chicks Supplies Hatchery in Ba on Friday, Mr Cokanasiga said the industry had successfully moved towards becoming self sufficient compared to other industries like dairy and beef.
"Currently, around 80 to 85 per cent of poultry meats are being produced locally by major producers and other emerging enterprises," he said.
Mr Cokanasiga said a project such as Awesome Chicks Supplies Hatchery was another example of the industry's commitment in ensuring the ready availability of affordable source of protein while at the same time help provide employment to the local community.
"At the micro level, the government through the Department of Agriculture is encouraging small holder farming as a concept to strengthen and move the agriculture sector forward."
Mr Cokanasiga said the small holder farming activities reach out to grassroots level in villages, settlements and especially those farmers who live in remote areas of the country.
"The small holder farm concept has proven to be the backbone of economic development in the major power houses in many overseas countries for socio-economic development especially in alleviating poverty and contributing to food and income security," he said.