The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to promote the use of technology and farm mechanization to foster improved agricultural production on the island of Taveuni.
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr Mahendra Reddy shared this with Rahul Kumar of Qila in Taveuni during a recent tour of farms on the island.
Acknowledging Kumar’s efforts in ensuring a consistent supply of water for his dalo farm through irrigation, Minister Reddy thanked him for his commitment towards the sector at a young age.
“I wish to thank you for taking the lead through the use of irrigation technology to help in your dalo farming and I want to assure farmers that we are looking at how we can continue to steer and promote agricultural development in Fiji.
“As a young individual, this is a good example of moving into agriculture as a business, developing mechanization and motivating youths to participate in farming as a business through the use of mechanization,” Minister Reddy said.
Kumar received irrigation material assistance worth $13,015.50 through the Export Promotion Program under the demand driven approach of the Ministry of Agriculture last year.
“The assistance has helped me grow from where I was before, to where I am now in terms of production and the use of mechanization has really lightened the load and burden for me,” said Kumar.
“I am grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture for the assistance and introducing a much easier way for the irrigation of my farm which is good for the development of agriculture because it surely increases production and at a faster rate too,” he added.
Kumar is the first dalo farmer to engage in mechanized irrigation systems on Taveuni, with his irrigation idea receiving commendation and support from the Ministry to boost production.
Since receiving the assistance, Kumar’s production has vastly improved and he harvests weekly, indicating the potential for further growth with his revenue increasing almost three-fold from $15,000 -$40,000.