fijitimes.com 27 Sep, 2020 23:30 am

Farmers organisations receive assurance, queries clarified

Farmers organisations receive assurance, queries clarified

Picture: SUPPLIED Farmers and farmers organisations present during the one-day Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) Fiji Farmers Forum held on Thursday last week were assured of improved service delivery by the Ministry of Agriculture.Farmers organisation’s representatives highlighted issues such as the need to secure an export market for locally produced honey, the need to recognise floriculture as a separate industry, interventions to prevent loss of produce freight, issues on land leases and long-term commercial investment being hindered by short land lease periods, increasing Government operational grants and farmer training to assist the growing number of new farmers.While responding to the issues, Mr Reddy said there were aspects in addressing the issues that required clearer policy direction for efficient service delivery.This assurance was given to them by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy during an informal talanoa session with participants of the one-day farmers forum held at South Sea Orchids in Nasau, Nadi.

“We fully understand the expectations from all stakeholders and if there is anything that I wish to ask you all, then it will be to treat agriculture as a business and do not treat Agriculture Ministry as a bank, do not ask for handouts,” he stressed.Mr Reddy said the onus was on farmers to create surplus from their agricultural business ventures and to reinvest and expand themselves.

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