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Lack of commercial farmers a challenge

Kalesi Mele
Saturday, October 28, 2017

THE lack of commercial scale farms continues to be a challenge for the Ministry of Agriculture, says minister Inia Seruiratu.

With most of Fiji farmers primarily producing for subsistence, the ministry is working to organise farmers into clusters so that they become economically viable.

He said the plan for the ministry's next half decade remained the same.

"We will be submitting to cabinet the strategic plan for the next five years and focus remains on food security, export promotion and import substitution," he said.

"What we are working on to improve agriculture's performance and contribution to the economy is the development of the whole value chain.

"For a long time agriculture was just focusing on production, but we neglected the rest of the value chain."

He said the value chain started from having quality planting material, ensure proper land preparation, seeing to the involvement of mechanisation and technology, the availability of cold storage systems, pack houses and packaging materials and ensuring the proper marketing of a product.

"Before we plant we must identify the markets so it's the whole value chain that we are looking at now which will definitely bring positive results," he said.

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