State promotes rice farming

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

Government is in the process of establishing a rice mill in Nailaga, Ba, Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said while handing over a portable rice mill to Lautoka Rice Farmers Cluster yesterday.

“So your rice will not go to Labasa or Dreketi.

“Farmers who are growing paddy for their own consumption, we would be providing them with portable rice mill,” he said. Dr Reddy said he was pleased with the farmers who have ventured out in rice farming.

“All the areas where farmers are moving into rice production whether commercial or for personal consumption, we would provide you with portable rice machine.”

He told farmers that paddy grown commercially would be purchased by Fiji Rice Ltd.

“We are promoting rice farming throughout Fiji. Root crop farmers, sugarcane farmers and vegetable farmers can continue to expand their existing crop, however, we want these farmers to also allocate a small piece of land towards rice farming.”

Dr Reddy said Fiji was currently importing about $44 million worth of rice each year and encouraged farmers to allocate at least one acre of land towards rice farming.

ture”Sigatoka valley is a traditional vegetable growing area, but farmers have now started planting for their own consumption which is very impressive.”

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