Caption:Participants of the Rice training during their field visit.Photo:SUPPLIED.
The training of Ministry of Agriculture staff on Hybrid Rice Technology for the past three months will boost Fiji’s rice industry.
Twenty-five staff are being trained by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who have been providing technical support to the Ministry covering technical and financial support to the “Training of Trainers” and farmers’ field school in all aspects of rice crop management.
The training is conducted by Dr Shahida Parul from Bangladesh and the FAO consultant Mr Kalisito Biaukula. The training focuses on seed production and cultivation practices on Wetland.
Mr Biaukula said the training will help the Agriculture officers assist farmers to increase rice production in Fiji and reduce Fiji’s rice import bill in the process. This training will also increase self-reliance.
“The officers attending the training are from various Divisions around Fiji and after this they will go back to their localities to establish their own Demo-Farm targeting 10 farmers where they will be monitored by the FAO consultants.
“There will be another refresher course for all the participants by early June-July to discuss the achievements and difficulties faced by the officers during the demonstration period,” he said.
Mr Biuakula said the participants will be encouraged to do their own research to assist them in compiling a local Rice Manual to assist farmers in the Rice Industry.
“Some of the participants have recently attended some International and local training and this training is to broaden their knowledge and skills on the rice production methods.”
Agriculture Technical Officer (Keyasi) Sitiveni Ratila said that the training has increased the knowledge of many officers that knew very less about rice farming.
Agriculture Assistant (Lekutu/Navakasiga, Bua) Akuila Komai said during the training he learnt a lot on rice farming and is confident to go back and teach the farmers in his locality to increase rice production.
The three months training will end this week.