Rice production ‘increases 10 folds’

Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy hands over portable rice mill to Lautoka Rice Farmers Cluster yesterday. Picture: SUPPLIED

Commercial paddy growers in Vanua Levu have increased rice production by “ten folds” this year, Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said.

He said this during the hand over of a portable rice mill to the Lautoka Rice Farmers Cluster yesterday

. “This is a great achievement and we are encouraging root crop farmers, sugarcane farmers and vegetable farmers in other areas to start growing rice for their own consumption so that rice importation would be reduced,” he said.

Dr Reddy said if farmers throughout Fiji allocated 24,000 acres of land towards rice farming, importation would be reduced to almost zero.

He told farmers the ministry was ready to support farmers who ventured into paddy farming.

“We would be providing portable rice mill to rice growing settlements so that you do not have to travel long distance to mill your rice.”

Dr Reddy said the ministry was also encouraging paddy farmers to grow rice varieties which had a short term maturation period — reaching maturity in 90 to 120 days.

More Stories