Portable rice mill machine to improve Lagalaga farmers’ production level

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy hands over the portable rice mill to Vice President of the Nadogo Community Rice Farmers group, Ami Chand. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Ministry of Agriculture, under its Rice Revitalization Program, provided a portable rice mill machine worth $1200 to farmers of Lagalaga in Macuata on Vanua Levu this week to encourage improved production of recommended rice varieties.

While officially handing over the portable rice mill machine, Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy said Government would continue to support farmers who cultivated crops recommended by the ministry.

Dr Reddy also reiterated to farmers on the need to treat farming as a business and to heed recommendations from the ministry on which crop varieties to plant because that would increase production and ensure harvested varieties were compatible with Government assistance.

With labour costs continuing to be an issue for farmers, Dr Reddy said if farmers grew recommended rice varieties, the ministry would further assist farmers in the area with a rice reaper.

“If the farmers grow traditional varieties of rice, they will not be able to use the machines such as rice reaper because it can only harvest short variety of rice like Star and Bold grain,” Dr Reddy said.

Meanwhile, Nadogo Community Rice Farmers group vice-president Ami Chand said the machine would assist some 100 farmers in the areas of Nubu, Lagalaga, Kurukuru, and Baqa right up to Kelikoso.

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