Ministry, farmers to increase dalo production
2 June, 2019, 10:17 pm
MEETING the local demands for dalo and increasing its supply for export markets remains a key priority of the Ministry of Agriculture.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy while meeting with Bua farmers during their dalo husbandry practice workshop at Dama Station in Bua, stating that strategies were being put in place to ensure the growth of the dalo industry.
“Dalo production over the last 5 years has decreased due to several reasons, some of which were the devastating effects of cyclones Winston, Keni and Josie as well as natural disasters like flooding,” Mr Reddy said.
“Farmers are also opting for crop substitution. With an increase in kava prices, yaqona farming has taken up some of the lands which were initially used for dalo production and continuous cultivation on the same land with a lack of sustainable farm management practices have led to depletion soil nutrient.
“We are now devising a plan to increase productivity, as well as expand areas under dalo cultivation through developing cluster groups and assisting them through land clearing.
“We will also provide farmers with planting materials and carry out drainage works on their farms on their request.”
The ministry will also be working closely with farmers to increase production to meet demands for dalo for both local and export market.
“To address the inconsistency of dalo production in Fiji, the Ministry will continue to strengthen its program on improving the soil fertility status in dalo growing areas. This will be achieved through the use of mucuna fallow crop which will improve the soil fertility, the introduction of agro-forestry, use of poultry manure and application of phosphorous and potassium fertilizers.
“We also want to assist the existing farmers to boost the farm fertility through extension services. We are also looking to provide support to them in terms of marketing so they don’t have to worry about where and how they will sell their products.”