Farmers discuss maximum income potential

Farmers and Ministry of Agriculture staff members during the meeting. Picture: SUPPLIED

MORE than 50 farmers from the interior of Naitasiri, Navosa and Ba met at Rewasau Village in Naitasiri to discuss ways to maximise income generation through agricultural practices.

The two-day meet is part of the Viti Levu Highland Farmers second project area meeting organised by the Ministry Agriculture of through the Fiji Agricultural Partnership Project (FAPP), which supports farming communities in remote and rural highlands of these three provinces to increase income from their farms to improve their livelihoods.

The meeting provided a platform for peer learning as representatives from the various area clusters shared practical issues they faced and discussed opportunities and potential solutions to overcome these challenges.

Cluster representative of Noikoro/Nasikawa/Nadrau, Ilaisa Niutabua said the potential for growth in these areas was not realised because of their remote locations.

“The absence of farm roads has deprived our areas of agricultural production opportunities and we’re grateful for government’s foresight in addressing the challenges by empowering us with information, knowledge and skills to boost agricultural production and reduce hardships faced by our families,” Mr Niutabua said.

FAPP’s Knowledge Management, Monitoring and Evaluating officer Inosi Vulawalu underscored the value of these community empowerment initiatives in providing a space for farmers to highlight issues important to them.

“This initiative provides an opportunity for farmers to be part of the process of identifying solutions to overcome the constraints and in the process improve their capacity, strengthen and promote viable market linkages and agri-businesses,” Mr Vulawalu said.

The FAPP project and the Ministry of Agriculture will now be working together with other stakeholders to see how best to address the central issue of farm road access raised by farmers.

The FAPP project is co-funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and Partners in Community Development Fiji (PCDF).

Through the work led by PCDF, around 1000 farmers within the seven highland districts of the provinces of Ba, Naitasiri and Navosa have been registered. The project will benefit farmers in 41 villages within the districts of Magodro, Savatu, Navatusila, Noikoro, Nadrau, Nasikawa and Nabobuco.

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