West agriculture show opens in Nadi

His Excellency the President Jioji Konrote tours the Extension Division of the Ministry of Agriculture. Photo: FACEBOOK/DEPTFO.

By ANA SOVA

Farmers turned up in numbers at the Western Division Agriculture Show that was held at Koroivolu Park in Nadi today.

The show which included the demonstrations of live animals, crops and farming management practices was officially opened by the President, Major-General(retired) Jioji Konrote.

The show focuses on the need for the implementation of the adaptation mechanisms for the sector amidst challenges posed by climate change.

The theme for the 2017 Agriculture show is ‘Climate Smart Agriculture for Fiji’.

President Konrote said we are all familiar with the impacts of natural disasters on our agriculture sector.

“Tropical Cyclone Winston, for instance, caused damages in excess of $200 million to the agriculture sector alone. The sector is yet to fully recover in many parts of the country,”

“The recent dry conditions that the Western Division has been experiencing and the consequential impact on crop and livestock production is testimony to the fact that we must practice Climate Smart Agriculture,” he said.

President Konrote said agriculture will remain an important and significant player in our national development and in Government’s efforts to strengthen our economic growth.

“This will also help ensure that the national wealth is fairly distributed, and employment opportunities made available to a wide cross section of our communities,” he said.

President Konrote adds whilst Government is committed in its efforts to develop the agriculture sector, all farmers and would-be farmers should agree to adopt the Climate Smart Agriculture approach.

“This will enhance the development of sustainable farming systems that provides reliable sources of food and income security for all,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pushpa Naidu who displayed and sold flowers during the show said it was a good opportunity for farmers.

The 60-year-old housewife from Waqadra in Nadi sells flowers near McDonalds Nadi Restaurant along Queens Road every Saturday.

“It’s nice to come out and have this opportunity to have exposure on our business and products. It is also an opportunity to meet other farmers and exchange ideas,” Pushpa said.

Although, Ilivani Draunimakita of Vuda Point, Lautoka said the event could be organised better.

The 37-year-old who operates a honey and virgin oil business called Niu Source company with her husband said the organising and coordination of farmers attending the event could be improved and more farmers should be urged to attend the show.

The show ends on Friday.