New capsicum variety released

Fiji's Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu speaks during the 34th Session of the FAO Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Nadi today. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji's Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu. Picture: FT FILE

AGRICULTURE Minister Inia Seruiratu released a new open-pollinated capsicum variety during the national World Food Day celebrations held at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on Wednesday.

He said Government’s emphasis on food and income security for all Fijians and the launch of the variety was in line with Government’s National Development Goals for the agriculture sector.

Mr Seruiratu said this was focused on increasing local production, reducing food imports, increasing exports and placing more emphasis on private sector led development.

“Capsicums originate from South and Central America,” he said.

“They are members of the Solanaceae family such as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant and is the best source of antioxidants and Vitamin C.

“Capsicum is a high value crop and can be easily grown during the main season and under protective structures during the offseason. Currently, Fiji has hybrid varieties such as Blue star.”

Open-pollinated varieties are stable varieties resulting from the pollination between the same or genetically similar parents and it is not hybrid which means farmers’ can make and save their own seeds instead of always relying on external sources.