Agricultural production in major farming areas has experienced continued growth due to the Government’s commitment to improving drainage projects in the country.
This was relayed by Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy while handing over rice, coconut and mucuna bean seeds to farmers in Drasa Lautoka.
Minister Reddy acknowledged the determination set by his respective Ministry portfolios in delivering service to rural communities, particularly in farming communities, attributing the increased agricultural activity and production to the resolve and dedication of the Government to ensuring equal development opportunities.
In highlighting the potential and contribution farmers had on the agriculture sector, Dr. Reddy emphasized the waterways service rendered by the Ministry subsidized financial costs substantially on farms, effectively contributing to commercial agriculture, and having a rippling effect on the national economy.
Hon. Reddy reiterated that securing the market would no longer be a cause for concern for farmers as crops would be purchased at their farm gates stating; “Farmers need not worry about the market since Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) as well for other high-value cash crops.”
“There has been a lot of drainage work done around the country and this is not the end, the Ministry is currently working on scoping work on the requests that have been done by the communities, villages and settlements,”
Meanwhile for 69-year-old crop and sugarcane farmer, Mr. Mahendra Prasad, there was an increase in farm production as Government services were delivered on request.
“Prior to the construction and maintenance of the farm drains, we were having difficulty in the agricultural production as most of the crops were damaged due to water-logging and soil was washed away during heavy rains, this resulted in the decline of our farm production,”
He acknowledged the Government’s intervention, through the Ministry of Waterways and Environment, who delivered on their commitment to ensuring farmers’ livelihoods were protected.