Funds to lift sector
25 February, 2016, 12:00 am
THE local agricultural sector is set to benefit from the direct assistance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Assistant Minister for Agriculture Joeli Cawaki met the IFAD director for Asia and Pacific, Hoonae Kim in Rome, Italy.
Mr Cawaki was in Rome to attend the 39th Session of the IFAD Governing Council with Fiji’s permanent representative to IFAD ambassador Deo Saran.
Mr Cawaki said IFAD funded the Fiji Agriculture Partnership Project at a cost of $US6million ($F12m) and this would start this year.
“We want to promote agribusiness in rural areas and the project will be a sector-wide approach that will potentially benefit all small-holders progressing from subsistence to market production,” he said.
Mr Cawaki said the goal of the project was to remove hardships among 2000 households in the interior of Viti Levu and small-scale farmers and operators of small and medium scale enterprises in agriculture.
He said Fiji farmers would also benefit from a number of regional initiatives funded by IFAD.
The projects included the $US7m ($F14m) regional adaptation for small-holder famers to climate change, the $US4m ($F8m) development of local food crops and fisheries value chains for improved nutrition in the Pacific, and the $US1m ($F2m) regional extension and advisory services oroject, which would also benefit Fiji.