A team of rice experts from China is in Fiji to implement a $10million Rice Development Program on Vanua Levu.
The Ministry of Agriculture acting permanent secretary Mr Uraia Waibuta said the team is in the country to demonstrate and train farmers and agriculture officers on the technologies to increase rice production, to improve local varieties and introduce best cultivation techniques to local rice farmers.
The team including two Rice Breeders will work at the Northern Dreketi Irrigation Project on 200 hectares of rice land extension and also at the Koronivia Research Station for rice seeds experiment and research.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the People’s Republic of China and the Fijian Government was signed last year to boost rice production in Fiji.
The China Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Limited (CSI) in technical partnership with world known hybrid rice seeds company, Yuan Longping High –Tech Agriculture Company Limited will together work with the Ministry of Agriculture in producing more rice locally.
Fiji currently imports $40million worth of rice annually and the assistance provided by the rice experts is an opportunity for Fiji to reduce its rice import bill.