Agriculture ministry to buy local crops

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy during the February sitting of parliament. Picture: RAMA

FIji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy has assured farmers in the Ra province that the Fijian Government will purchase the crops that they sell.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of two tractors to two farming clusters of Vunikavikaloa and Madhuvani, Mr Reddy encouraged farmers to plant only three or four types of crops.

“You stick to growing three or four crops and go deep into specializing in those three or four crops. Avoid mono-cropping as there is a risk during cyclone or flooding and you will lose your entire crop,” the Minister was quoted saying in a Government statement issued this evening.

“At the moment, we are currently importing 85 per cent of rice into the country. Rice is stable, everyone consumes rice and we cannot continue to import that volume of rice from outside. Food security is at risk and we want to promote and grow our own rice.”

Meanwhile, Vunikavikaloa farmer Ashok Kumar acknowledged the Fijian Government’s assistance in providing timely assistance.

“We are grateful for the government’s assistance and now the onus is on us to be productive and we assure you that we will not disappoint,” Mr Kumar said.

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