The
Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Agricultural Marketing
Authority (AMA), will set up purchasing booths along the confirmed Suva borders
to ensure access to adequate food of acceptable quality and nutritional value
for Fijians in the lockdown area.

This has
been confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development,
Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy following confirmation on the
lockdown of the greater Suva area after confirmation of the two most recent
cases of COVID-19 here in Fiji.

The
Agricultural Marketing Authority will set up booths from the Sigatoka end of
the Lami Bridge, the Nausori Town end of the Rewa Bridge and at the Sawani
Service Station end of the Sawani border to ensure uninterrupted supply of
fresh produce to local markets.

These
arrangements include the following:

·         The
Agriculture Marketing Authority will buy from all suppliers and deliver the
produce to the vendors of the Suva market and within the greater Suva area
every day for the duration of the lockdown period.

·         The
booths will begin buying operations from 5.30am-1pm beginning tomorrow morning
until further notice.

·         The
suppliers will be paid cash at these booths for the sale of their produce to
the Agricultural Marketing Authority.

·         The
purchasing will be for the required variety of fresh food and fruits which is
sold at any market for an estimated volume based on the consumption
requirement.

“I wish to
reiterate to our farmers and the suppliers to refrain from mass harvesting of
produce as that will not benefit anyone in the long run. The bottom line is
this – we do not want to buy more than is required,” said Hon. Reddy.

The
Agricultural Marketing Authority will distribute this fresh produce within the
greater Suva area immediately after procuring the produce from 5.30am every
morning.

The
Ministry of Agriculture wants to assure the general public that there will be
no shortage of fresh produce for the residents of the greater Suva area during
the lockdown period.

“Be rest
assured that food and nutrition security will remain one of our top priorities
as we address this national issue as a nation.

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