The Fiji Agricultural Partnership Project (FAPP) under the Ministry of Agriculture, this week organized a three-day Value Chain Capacity building workshop to upskill Extension and Livestock officers.
While addressing training participants at the Centre for Appropriate Technology Development (CATD), Nadave earlier this week, Ministry of Agriculture Chief Economist, Ms. Sera Bose said the vital workshop was the first in a series of Value Chain Workshops which would be facilitated by the Agribusiness Development Unit within the Ministry.
“In a new environment where farming is considered more as a business than as a subsistence activity, it is only appropriate for extension officials of the Ministry to be capacitated to not only limit their skills to producing crops but to enhance and broaden their knowledge in the areas of Agricultural Marketing especially on understanding the Value Chain Process and managing post-harvest handling,” said Bose.
She said the workshop would further develop participants’ knowledge to promote rural remote communities to engage in agribusiness and to strengthen the public-private partnership.
“This is one of the eight workshops planned for this financial year by the FAPP Unit. FAPP has conducted two similar workshops in Nadi for the Western and Eastern officers,” she said.
“The overall goal of FAPP is to reduce hardship in remote rural communities with the development objective of engaging small-scale producers in sustainable farming and business partnerships in remote areas, particularly in the highlands. The targeted highland areas include the districts of Nabobuco, Savatu, Magodro, Nadrau, Navatusila, Nasikawa and Noikoro,” she added.
The sector-wide project comprises three complementary and mutually reinforcing components concentrating on enhancing the public sector’s capacity to support agribusiness, providing incentives to agribusiness enterprises that are prepared to invest in expanding business with small scale farmers, especially our remote rural dwellers and the elevating of about 2,000 highland farming households from subsistence to production for profit.
“The project will facilitate farmers’ access to markets, improve the agricultural value chains, and develop relationships between value chain actors as well as partnerships between the public and private sectors for agribusiness development,” said Bose.
She elaborated that one of the key activities in Public Sector Capacity to Support Agribusiness was the training of extension officers on Agribusiness and Value Chain Development.
Bose urged participants to continue enhancing their knowledge in the areas of Value Chain analysis and equip themselves to accurately advise farmers on the best marketing practice for their products.
FAPP is jointly funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development and the Fijian Government and implies a vision of the public sector as a partner to the private sector through its actions to create an enabling environment where business in the agricultural sector can flourish – for the benefit of producers, consumers, and the economy at large.