Mushroom growers body will strengthen farmers’ collective power

FCLC chief executive Jiu Daunivalu (right row, 2nd from right) with members of the newly formed Fiji Mushroom Farmers Association. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE recent formation of the Fiji Mushroom Farmers Association under the umbrella of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) “adds voice and strengthens the collective power of farmers”.

Fiji Mushrooms Farmers Association member Litia Naitanui – who is bound to a wheelchair and¬†represents women with disabilities group in Rewa –¬† said mushroom farming was perfect for people with disabilities because it was not labour intensive.

She said being part of the association would further promote the awareness of mushroom farming, improve decision-making processes, and boost their economic wellbeing.

At present, mushroom farmers under the newly-formed association belong to the Naitasiri, Rewa, and Pacific Harbour areas, and produce the oyster variety of mushrooms.

Moving forward, association president Susan Pocock says the committee will review development needs that include market options and training for mushroom farmers.

FCLC chief executive officer Jiu Daunivalu said the benefits that farmers gained from the collective action of their farmers’ organisations include improvement of production and yields, management of costs and quality of products, adding value and comply to quality requirements through the post-harvest operations, accessing markets, and better access to agro-inputs and finance.

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