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Farmers urged to plant smart

Kalesi Mele
Thursday, November 09, 2017

PRESIDENT Jioji Konrote is urging farmers across the country to practise climate-smart agriculture because of the extreme weather affecting the country.

Mr Konrote said the dry spell experienced in the Western Division had forced many to change farming practices.

Mr Konrote made the comments while speaking at the opening of the Western Division Agriculture Show at Koroivolu Park in Nadi yesterday.

"We are all familiar with the impacts of natural disasters on our agriculture sector," he said.

"Tropical Cyclone Winston, for instance, caused damage in excess of $200 million to the agriculture sector alone.

'The sector is yet to fully recover in many parts of the country.

"The recent dry conditions that the Western Division has been experiencing and the consequential impact on crop and livestock production is testimony to the fact that we must practise climate-smart agriculture."

Mr Konrote said while the State would always assist those affected during natural disasters, the damage sustained by farmers were usually permanent.

"Agriculture will remain an important and significant player in our national development and in Government's efforts to strengthen our economic growth.

"This will also help ensure that the national wealth is fairly distributed, and employment opportunities made available to a wide cross section of our communities.

"All farmers and would-be farmers should agree to adopt the climate-smart agriculture approach.

"This will enhance the development of sustainable farming systems that provide reliable sources of food and income security for all."

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