Ministry supports potato farmers
20 October, 2016, 3:26 pm
Update: 3:26PM THE Ministry of Agriculture is working towards supporting farmers to venture into potato farming.
This is an effort by the Ministry to increase food and income security,
Agriculture Officer (Nadroga/Navosa), Makereta Rasuka, in a Government statement, said the Ministry was in the first phase of harvesting potatoes and farmers were being encouraged to continue planting more potatoes.
Farmers in Balenabelo Village, Nadroga, are well known for potato farming and a few farmers are now generating income from this venture.
“Through this initiative, the Ministry is trying to educate pioneer potato farmers to pass their knowledge to the younger generation in order to keep the commodity sustainable,” Ms Rasuka said.
She said the farmers were able to harvest an average of 12 metric tonnes of potatoes.
“It took the farmers three months to plant the potatoes and now they can harvest their produce,” she said.
She said the Ministry bought the seeds at $1.30 per kilo which will be used in the next planting season.
Jaweli Naluaikaba from Busa settlement produced the largest scale of potatoes amounting to 2.5 tonnes from which he earned more than $2000.
The 38-year-old farmer acknowledged the Fijian Government’s assistance especially on clearing the land which enabled him to harvest potatoes at this scale.