Possible increase in yaqona production predicted

Men, women and children work together to prepare their yaqona - damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni - for the market. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

THE increase in yaqona production will be felt in the next one or two years.

This was told to Parliament by Acting Agriculture Minister Osea Naiqamu yesterday.

He said Fijians must be mindful of the effects of climate change which could hamper the efforts of farmers.

Mr Naiqamu said more than 300,000 yaqona planting materials had been distributed to yaqona farmers across the country.

Mr Naiqamu said the ministry had a Yaqona Development Programme that was designed by Government to try and address the shortage of yaqona.

This, he said commenced after the devastating effects of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

He said the ministry was confident that the program would address the shortage of yaqona in the not too distant future.

“Activities include sourcing of planting materials, agro input, yaqona nurseries, and farmhouses.

“All the activities are focused on establishing and expansion farms,” Mr Naiqamu said.

“As to date, more than 300,000 planting materials have been distributed to different locations around Fiji.

“This is a renewed interest in farmers who are captivated to go into yaqona cultivation,” said Mr Naiqamu.

He said farmers were assisted in terms of materials for farmhouses to allow them to stay in their own plantation especially where access was a problem.

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