Non-agricultural sector continues to grow in Fiji

Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary for agriculture development Jone Sovalawa (left) with Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) Mr Dominick during the planting of the Guava Orchard. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE non-sugar agricultural sector in Fiji continues to grow over the years and with it comes demands to further develop the sector, says Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary for agriculture development Jone Sovalawa.

He said the program was one of the five new initiatives the ministry would undertake to further enhance the development of the sector.

Mr Sovalawa said the launch of the first fruit tree orchard was part of the recently announced Establishment of Fruit Tree Orchard initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture.

“New strategies need to be implemented that will ensure increased production to meet market demands and among other things, reduce our dependency on imported products,” he said.

He also emphasised on the need to develop Fiji’s fruit industry because the inclusion of locally-grown fruits in daily diets was important given its nutritional value.

“Most fruits are only available in season and in limited number because it is not farmed but rather wildly grown, it is in this regard that there is a need for the establishment of fruit orchards in a systematic and proper manner in demarcated areas.

“The new program will ensure establishment of organised orchards of selected fruits in strategic locations to make fruits readily available to locals as well as to our ever-growing tourism industry.”

Guava trees were planted during the launch as guavas had been identified as a ‘super fruit’ due to its high nutrient content and its ability to address non-communicable diseases.

Under the new Fruit Tree Orchard initiative, the Ministry of Agriculture will be establishing fruit orchards for guava, passion fruit, chestnut and mangoes.

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