MODERNIZING AGRICULTURE THROUGH STRENGTHENED PARTNERSHIPS


Efforts to maximize public private partnership and work towards the modernization of Fiji’s agriculture sector culminated this week with the signing of agreements between the Ministry of Agriculture and six (6) companies.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Mr Uraia Waibuta said that the agreements were signed with tender companies who are going to be supporting the Ministry’s Agro input subsidy program, Farm Mechanization program and the Rice Revitalization program to further enhance farmers’ livelihoods.

The stakeholders included Carptrac, Asco Motors, South Pacific Fertilizers, Ag Chem and Basic Industries.

Mr. Waibuta expressed his appreciation to the continuous support provided by the stakeholders and assured them that assistance will benefit the rural communities especially farmers because that aligns with the Ministry’s vision.

“We all understand the broad goals of the Ministry at this point in time that is to modernize the agriculture sector.

“As part of the modernization plan, technology is required, so gone are the days of using digging fork and cane knives and we need to bring in improved technology in terms of structures and machines and we have to bear in mind that 80% of our producers are smallholders farmers.”

Mr Waibuta said the Ministry is moving towards obtaining new machines that is affordable to the rural farmers.

“We want to get fertilizers as it is important to crop and livestock then again the affordability of the farmers is the bottom line and to which we all understand,” he added.

For the livestock sector, he said it is definitely the feed which is always a challenging area and commended Pacific Feeds for being able to facilitate this process.

The stakeholders are expected to supply their tendered items between August to September this year.

The Swarm dozer will be supplied by Carptrac, Farm Mechanization from Asco Motors and Agro input subsidy from South Pacific Fertilizers, Ag Chem, Pacific Feeds and Basic Industries.