The primary mandate of any Government is to ensure the growth and development of all economic sectors.
This was relayed by Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy to farmers and community members of Nawaka yesterday during an informal talanoa session held at Nakolia, Nawaka in Nadi.
“The entire notion of this Government is to ensure that we must all grow, we must all grow together, our entire households, our economic sectors be it agriculture, fisheries or forests.”
He also informed those present during the session that the Ministry of Agriculture had implemented numerous programmes geared towards securing the nation’s food and nutrition security.
Minister Reddy made mention of programmes such as the “Village Nutrition Security Initiative” which had been upscaled to include the planting of 50 fruit trees at 50 select villages around the country to ensure the nutritional security of Fijian villages and the Home Gardening programme and Farm Support Initiative that addressed food security.
He also elaborated on the recent production levels of agricultural exports which recorded a 15 per cent increase in the volume of agricultural produce achieved last year, and which correlated to an estimated growth of 25 per cent in terms of value, highlighting that this was a tremendous achievement for the sector bearing in mind the impacts of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Walliamma Swamy of Nakolia expressed her gratitude to the Ministerial entourage for hearing the concerns of the people of Nawaka; with the current pandemic, people’s livelihoods are greatly impacted and I thank you for taking your time out to discuss our grievances as people have lost their jobs and I believe we’ve all been inspired to do our best despite these challenges,” she said.
Members of the community raised the issues they faced with the Ministerial team, most of which centered on the need for proper drainage to address the issue of flooding the farmers and the community at large faced.