Boost to agriculture

FIJI now has a 2020 Agriculture Sector Policy Agenda which policy makers hope will modernise the agricultural sector.

The policy is said to be the first of its kind in our nation’s history.

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi said the policy placed great emphasis on adaptive and applied researches.

He said the new policy agenda would not only modernise Fiji’s agriculture sector but also promote the livelihoods of farmers and facilitate better processing and marketing linkages.

“The underlying goal is to establish a diversified, economically and environmentally-sustainable agriculture economy in Fiji,” Mr Ligairi said.

He said five strategies had been identified to address problems in the agriculture sector.

Adding on, he said they hoped to improve the delivery of agriculture support services in the country.

“Over the years, there has been a significant change in the expectations of science and technology and innovations, from increasing crop and livestock productivity to creating competitive, responsive and dynamic agriculture that directly contributes to the millennium development goals.”

Mr Ligairi said there was a need to seek greater understanding of alternative pathways for rural economic growth.

“This calls for the change in the mind-set of the change agents, and greater flexibility and creativity in defining the agenda and new public-private partnerships to improve productivity and income-generation capacity of poor rural households.

“Research will continue to play an important role in developing and modernising Fiji’s agriculture sector.”