A total of fifty Labasa residents today received backyard gardening packages from the Ministry of Agriculture to help foster healthier lifestyles and improve their physical fitness.

The
backyard gardening initiative is part of five new initiatives adopted by the
Ministry to further improve agriculture development and the overall output of
the sector.

When
officiating during the distribution of the packages at Naseakula Village,
Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon. Jale Sigarara said Government was intent
on encouraging rural and urban household farming to produce and consume
healthier and nutritious crops.  

“Those
who do not have a large yard for gardening do not have to feel left out, they
can still grow many of their favorite vegetables and even sell the surplus to
generate extra income for their families.”

“Due
to the increasing needs for food production, the program targets urban and
peri-urban areas to positively impact the lives of ordinary Fijians wherever
they are,” he said.

“Many
families living in urban and peri-urban areas are always challenged by limited
land area and space, knowledge and resources for planting.”

The
program will introduce very simple techniques such as horizontal and vertical
container methods to optimize space for planting in order to also ease
increasing cost of living.

“It
will ensure that Fijians living in these areas have improved access to
nutritious fresh produce which should have a major reduction in food costs.”

Recipient
Sefanaia Rokodua of Naseakula village, said the initiative would assist him in
maintaining his fitness and combating non-communicable diseases.

“With
my current condition of being in crutches, the option of going to plant far
from home is not available to me, however, this initiative will enable me to
plant in my backyard and eat from what I am capable of planting and this will
also help me exercise daily,” he said. 

A
same number of backyard gardening packages will be distributed in Savusavu
later this week.

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