Farmers encouraged to sell chilies in Capital City

THERE is red hot cash in bongo chillies and farmers in Qelewaqa were told that there is a demand for the crop in the local market.

Speaking during the Sustainable Land Management Training workshop involving farmers in the area, senior North agricultural officer Timoci Vakaboro said supermarkets were buying chilies for $4 a kilogram.

Mr Vakaboro said in Bua alone there was only one farmer supplying chilies at 30kg a day.

“The workshop today (yesterday) would see the implementation of a farmers cluster group who would choose a president that will look after a nursery and model farm for the group,” he said.

“With the implementation of the nurseries farmers can then distribute improved seedlings among their group.

“Our aim is to at least supply farmers with 100 plants of each capsicum, eggplant and chilies as these crops are in demand in the market.

“This could at least supply each farmer with at least an income of $100 a day.”

Mr Vakaboro said about 50 farmers would benefit from the nursery and model farm.

“Our workshop normally looks into land care and management while we also incorporate revenue generation through farming into our training package,” he said.

In an earlier interview the Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu said the demand for the chilies were big overseas adding they were presently priced at $28.95 a kilogram in Suva beating export prices to New Zealand and Australia, where prices stand at $11 to $12 a kg.

Mr Seruiratu encouraged farmers in Labasa to sell their chilies in Suva where they would fetch a good price for their crop.

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