Bua rice farmers receive new tractor

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy with the ministry staff and members of Bua Rice Farmers Cooperative. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI GOVT

A rice farming community in Bua received a tractor from the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday aimed at increasing agricultural productivity.

The tractor was handed over to the Bua Rice Farmers’ Cooperative in Vatubogi.

In receiving the tractor, cooperative president Narendra Pratap, 54, expressed his appreciation for the assistance that would motivate him and his members to increase their rice and cassava production.

“Our cooperative has 19 members from three areas; Tausa, Nasuva and Vatubogi. We are mostly rice and cassava farmers. Collectively, I believe we have more than 300 acres of land between us,” Mr Pratap said.

“I want to thank the Minister for giving us a tractor for the Bua Rice Farmers’ Cooperative. We look forward to Government’s help so we can grow more rice and reduce the rice import bill.

“We have a lot of land here and with more help we can produce more rice,” Mr Pratap said.

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy told the farmers that this was a major achievement for the cooperative, and added it was important that farmers realised that mechanisation was the way forward in moving towards  modern agriculture, which at the same time would also assist in achieving the ministry’s strategic goal.

He said the cooperative had one of the largest rice schemes in Bua and as such Government looked forward in seeing a surge in agriculture growth in this area.

Mr Reddy also urged the  Bua Rice Farmers’ Cooperative to ensure that the tractor is well maintained at all times so that it would benefit the farmers in the long run.

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