‘SODELPA will invest $224m in agriculture’

SODELPA party leader Viliame Gavoka at the press conference in Suva today (Friday, September 23, 2022) to unveil the party's manifesto. Picture: ELENA VUCUKULA

If voted into power, a Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) government will invest $224 million into agriculture, almost four times the $64m invested by the current administration.

Speaking at the launch of the SODELPA manifesto last Friday, party leader Viliame Gavoka said the FijiFirst Government budget for agriculture was $64m whereas SODELPA would allocate $224m.

“We talk about agriculture being the untapped potential of the country and SODELPA is putting serious money into agriculture,” he said.

“Sugar would continue to run on its own but in our second year in office we would bring sugar back into agriculture.”

Mr Gavoka said agriculture would be grouped together with sugar so the sector could emulate and benefit from the support system in the sugar industry.

He said a key policy was to assist in the payment of premiums for farmers whose leases have been approved for renewal.

SODELPA’S other key budgetary allocations includes – a National Agricultural Forum, farmer training, coopting Taiwan/ Israel cooperation, production of locally made fertiliser, establishment of collection centers for semi and fully commercial farmers, Navuso Agriculture School capital grant, Tutu Training School, land acquisition ($30m to assist farmers for renewal of lease premium), machinery and technology transfer, AMA business market support, agri-business fusion support centers, contract farming training, establishment of a seed bank facility, cassava production program and National Land Use Policy- $100,000.

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