Caption: FCLC Chairman, Simon Cole and Permanent Secretary for Agriculture (Acting) Uraia Waibuta, shake on signing the Memorandum of Understanding. Photo: SUPPLIED.
NOVEMBER 12, 2015. Since it was mandated by Government in 2010 to help build agriculture through the private sector, the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council has been working to strengthen farmer crop and livestock associations.
As an endorsement of FCLCs work, Government has signed a Memorandum 0f Understanding (MOU) with the Council to provide funds for the continued development of the associations.
As part of the MOU, it has committed $80,000 to FCLC to develop two additional commodity associations – rice and cocoa.
The move is in line with government’s national strategic goal to expand sustainable communities.
“Government believes that the only way to develop sustainable communities is to modernize the agriculture sector by strengthening and structuring commodity associations,” said Uraia Waibuta, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture (Acting).
Once formed, the rice and cocoa associations will bring the number of existing commodity associations that comprise FCLC to 15.
Simon Cole, Chairman of FCLC said the Council is grateful to Government for recognizing the importance of developing the associations and the more than 30,000 farmers they represent and in providing the funds towards this end.
“Of significant importance is strengthening the framework in which the associations operate so that they are better positioned to build on the services for the farmers the Council is implementing,” he said.
“Fiji’s crop and livestock farmers are now becoming inclusive partners in the decisions that impact them. It is in this private-public partnership between FCLC and Government that is providing the avenue so that the farmers can have an influence in the decision making process,” he said
The International Trade Centre(ITC) is facilitating the development of the FCLC Secretariat with funds provided by the European Union through its Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) Programme.
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