Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Viam Pillay and senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture with awardees of the 2017 Western Agriculture Show at Tokatoka Resort in Nadi. Photo: DEPTFO.
By ANA SOVA
Farmers in the Western Division were recognised for their contributions towards the development of the economy.
The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged farmers with awards for their commitment and hard work throughout the years at the Tokatoka Resort in Nadi on 10 November as part of the 2017 Western Agriculture Show.
27 farmers from the four provinces within the Western Division were rewarded in the categories ranging from crop, livestock and overall awards.
Officiating at the event, Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Viam Pillay thanked the farmers for their contribution towards the agriculture sector in their respective farming practices.
“Government acknowledges the efforts of all our farmers as your partnership is vital in providing our people food and nutritional security as well as contributing to increased agriculture export and providing the required materials for agro industries to support the employment and livelihood of many communities which is critical for the economic development of our country,” Pillay said.
He said the Farmers Award is an initiative taken by the Ministry of Agriculture to acknowledge the farmers roles and achievements as it also shines the spotlight on them.
The Assistant Minister also reminded farmers of the drastic effects of climate change and called on them to adapt mitigating practices for the benefit of their respective farms.
“With this year’s Agriculture Show theme reflecting “Climate Smart Agriculture for Fiji”, I wish to remind you all at the outset of the need to implement resilient and sustainable agricultural practices for climate adaptation and mitigation. The threat posed by climate change is all encompassing, affecting all sectors and sadly enough, the agriculture sector is not exempt,” Pillay said.
“So in light of this ever increasing danger, all stakeholders must focus attention on the need for the implementation of adaptation mechanisms for the sector amidst the challenges caused by the phenomena, climate change”.
He said farmers played a significant role in terms of economic development in the country.
“Your efforts in partnership with Government in the provision of food security, increasing agriculture exports and providing the raw materials for agro industries to support employment and livelihood of many communities is critical for the economic development of our beloved nation,” Pillay said.
Best Dalo Farmer: Keresoni Waqa of Soa Village, Ra
Best Ginger Farmer: Rafaele Raidroni of Dama, Ra
Best Yaqona Farmer: Savenaca Salili
Best Patato Fasrmer: Jaweli Naluaikaba
Best Yam Farmer: Jone Madrai received
Best Banana Farmer: Manueli Vakarilala
Best Papaya Farmer: Ahmad Khan
Best Pineapple Farmer: Imataz Ali
Best Rice Farmer: Suneel Kumar
Best Vegetable Farmer: Robert Sanjay of Burenitu
Best Farm Practice: Pranil Bhai
Best Backyard Farmer: Ritesh Sharma
Best Value Adding Farmer: Mr and Mrs Nawaitauvou of Navotua in Yasawa
Best Floriculture Farmer: Kelera Kau’ata of Lautoka
Best Sustainable Land Management Farmer: Sakeasi Tikowale of Vadrayawasewa, Ba
Best Pig Farmer: Laisenia Namosimalua
Best Sheep Farmer: Samisoni Manewa
Best Dairy Farmer: Bal Ram
Best Beef Farmer: Mohammed Shahim
Best Goat Farmer: Jiten Kumar
Best Broiler Farmer: Navetakan Aujula
Best Duck Farmer: Rakesh Prasad
Best Apiculture Farmer: Nilesh Kumar
Young Farmer of the Year: Mikaele Tanalewa
Woman Farmer of the Year: Asenaca Salacagi
Western Division Farmer of the Year Award in the crops category: Dharmend Kumar
Western Division Farmer of the Year Award in the livestock category: Navekatan Aujula.