Tablets issued to boost vulnerability and disaster assessments in agriculture

Permanent Secretary for Agriculture David Kolitagane. Picture: FT FILE/SUPPLIED

THE capacities of Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture to conduct vulnerability and disaster assessments in Fiji received a boost with the handover of 50 tablets.

The tablets are components of the Pro-Resilient Fiji project that was funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The tablets are installed with KoBo Toolbox, a free data collection software used to undertake disaster assessments.

A special training on the use of the software will be undertaken to strengthen data collection, analysis and mapping for disaster and risk assessment.

The training will guarantee that planning and implementation of El Nino drought food security activities will avoid gaps and duplications, ensure consistency and are delivered on time to the affected population

Speaking at the handover, Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary David Kolitagane noted the challenges that faced the national institution.

“The challenges include increasing our capacities to identify dry spells and analyse them in an effort to respond early and more efficiently to the needs of the Fijian farmers, to support local farming activities that have an instrumental role in supporting food security and rural livelihoods,” Mr Kolitagane was quoted saying in a Government statement issued tonight.

“I wish to acknowledge the support received from FAO Fiji for the technical assistance in addition to the procurement of these 50 tablets.”

Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Suva Christoph Wagner stressed the importance of building capacities of the national institutions in the fight against climate change driven disasters.

“This IT equipment and the technical training will further strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture in undertaking disaster risk assessments. With this information, Fiji is better prepared for droughts and can also more effectively respond to them. Communicating effectively with the population affected will make Fiji’s rural communities more resilient to droughts,” Mr Wagner was quoted saying in the statement.

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