Former cane farmers contribute to increased rice production

Rice farmers in Dreketi plant rice. Picture: FT FILE

CANE farmers who have switched to rice farming have contributed to the increased local production, says Fiji Rice Ltd north manager Ashrit Pratap.

Mr Pratap has applauded efforts of the Agriculture Ministry in assisting rice farmers.

“These are canefarmers in Rakiraki who have switched to rice farming and are now planting rice and they are doing very well,” he said.

“I must thank the Ministry of Agriculture officials in Rakiraki for helping the farmers because this has boosted production.

“In fact, the rice farmers in Rakiraki have started supplying us this year and so far we have received six tonnes of paddy and this is a positive development for the industry.”

After Severe TC Winston, he said the supply of paddy dropped, but picked up again in 2017.

However, last year the supply to their mill dropped again because of floods which damaged the crops.

“But after roping in the Rakiraki farmers, the supply of paddy has increased and this has boosted supply this year,” Mr Pratap said.

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