Grant benefits smallholder farmers

A farmer raises an issue during the informal talanoa session. Picture: SUPPLIED

A TOTAL of 104 smallholder farmers from around Fiji have benefited from a grant of $140,000 given by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Eleven smallholder farmers received fencing materials last week in Rakiraki through the program earmarked to benefit 134 smallholder farmers in total, with the remaining 30 assistance packages to be handed out to selected smallholder farmers soon.

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy said the ministry had re-evaluated its assistance practice to ensure only commercial oriented farmers received support.

Grant recipients were informed to use the assistance to develop their paddocks and ensure they steadily grow their herd to reach commercial levels.

“I would like to thank you, the farmers for the dedication and the effort you are showing in trying to meet the demand of the local and international market, you are our ultimate clients, as Government has placed a lot of trust and hope in you to meet national objectives to contribute to agricultural growth for national development,” Mr Reddy said.

“There is huge potential in the livestock sector and we intend to drive farmers from semi-subsistence to medium holding and large holding farmers and for this to happen, we will need to provide them with fencing materials.”

Grant recipient Ami Chand of Saivou in Ra said the assistance was timely and thanked the ministry for ensuring farmers’ livelihoods were taken care of.

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