FCLC members during a meeting. File Photo.
The European Union (EU) received high praise from the CEO of the Fiji Crop & Livestock Council for its contribution towards the launch of FCLC.
?We believe that FCLC will play a major role in helping to develop the non-sugar agricultural sector of the economy and we are grateful that EU has recognized our importance,? said Lavinia Kaumaitotoya, CEO of the Council.
?Too often those that help contribute to our economy are not properly acknowledged.? EU has been a good friend to Fiji over the years. Many of its wide-ranging projects that it has funded have focused on agriculture helping so many of our farmers become self-reliant.?
The EU through its implementing agency, the International Trade Centre (ITC) has made a three-year commitment of financial support to FCLC under its IKSA project that has ensured ?that we can effectively implement a number of programs to help our farm Associations.?
FCLC is comprised of 12 commodity sectors that include Pig, Dairy, Beef, Sheep/Goat, Root Crop, Ginger, Kava, Honey, Fruit, Salad Vegetables, Coconut Growers, and Food Processors and has recently added Cocoa, Rice and Dalo to its list of Associations.
The Council has received further recognition when it signed an MOU with the Government as an important organization to progress the growth of the non-sugar agricultural sector.
?We will officially launch FCLC towards the end of March but we are already beginning to work on membership.? It is free to the farmers.? A number of benefits will be offered to improve farm output as well as provide better access to markets.
?I am confident that when we reflect on our contribution to the farming community we must acknowledge our funding partner the EU that has helped make it happen for the Council,? she concluded.