Caption:AH&P staff, FCDCL and farmers attending the meeting.Photo:SUPPLIED.
The rising demand for dairy products in the country is an indication of the potential that this thriving industry has to improve livelihoods of Fijians along the supply value chain.
The Ministry of Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu and representatives from several key dairy industry stakeholder organisations met this week with AgResearch Limited, the largest Crown Research Institute in New Zealand at the Peninsula International Hotel in Suva. The meeting was to identify the key issues that need to be addressed and work towards a common vision for the industry.
International Agricultural Development consultant (NZ) Mel Eden said AgResearch has been contracted to develop a Design Document, which will outline the interventions, activities and outputs for the Dairy Industry.
“Fiji has the capability of producing quality dairy products and we are further exploring opportunities where help is needed.
“We have also been making farm visits as the initiative also aims to lift the income of dairy farmers through sustainable improvements to technical and business practises,” Mr Eden said.
The Ministry’s Director for Animal Health and Production, Tomasi Tunabuna said they are looking at strengthening the work of dairy advisors through training and exposure through work.
“The Ministry will be working with other stakeholders to strengthen the dairy sector, improve farmer incomes and the public health by providing advisory and funding components for breeding, infrastructure and diseases,” he said.
Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) chief executive officer Sachida Nand said dairy farms in the country need to be more efficient inorder to improve.
On national average, the milk industry is producing 4.5 to 5.0 litres of milk per cow per day with main suppliers combing the Naitasiri, Tailevu and Rewa Districts.