Government invests in rice industry

Minister for Agriculture (middle) Hon. Inia Seruiratu with Stakeholders, Rice Farmers and Government Officials during the opening of the two new modern Dryers and Husk Crusher in Dreketi. Photo; MOA

Rice farmers in Dreketi will not need to wait long to get their paddy weighed at the mill now.

This is after the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Hon. Inia Seruiratu commissioned two dryers and a husk crusher at Fiji Rice Limited mill in Dreketi, Macuata recently.

The Government has invested $60,000 for two more dryers and this should be installed in three months.

Minister Seruiratu said the husk crusher would diversify into animal feed production.

“This is another milestone for the company as this venture will generate more income for the company and at the same time creates more employment for the rural community in Dreketi,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“I would like to remind the stakeholders to do their part and assist the industry grow. Let me assure you that Government is committed to provide all the assistance in terms of funding, machinery, subsidy and extra for the rice industry.”

“We need to modernise because of the huge demand that is there for Fiji’s product, not only locally also abroad. We know the time for manual has gone,” he said.

“We need machinery, mechanization and technology not only that we need to produce the volume that are necessary but most importantly for us to be able to adapt to the changing environment in terms of climate change, the dynamics of world economy and the need for us to feed our people in terms of food and nutrition security,” Minister Seruiratu said.

He added the opening of this mill is part of the mechanisation plan in the 2020 agriculture policy  agenda and in that modernisation they will look at the value chain from the farm level right through to the market and the responsibilities of all stakeholders.

“I am here again to remind all of us that we all have a responsibility in that modernization plan,” Minister Seruiratu said.