The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy today met with dairy farmers from the Vatia Cluster Group in Tavua.
Dairy farmers shared the issues and challenges they faced regarding their dairy farms and also had an opportunity to hear Government’s plans to improve the dairy industry.
While addressing the dairy farmers, Minister Reddy said Government remained committed to developing the dairy industry and had also set in place strategic plans to realize its full potential.
Dr. Reddy, with senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways, met and held informal discussions with farmers to hear and discuss issues relating to their farms and how the two Ministries could work together with farmers to address their respective issues.
The Vatia Cluster Group consists of 14 dairy farmers who consistently supply milk to the Ba Chilling Centre, three beef farmers and one crop farmer who supplies to the Maqere Exporter.
With Vatia Settlement located 15 kilometres from Tavua Town, the Ministry of Agriculture has assisted five farmers from 2013 with Dairy Sheds and Fodder banks with each farmer receiving $11,856.56 worth of farming assistance.
The Vatia Cluster Group plans to establish a model farm that will provide a replacement Dairy Bull and milking cows within the Dairy clusters in Ba and Tavua and hopes to establish, in partnership with Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL), one FCDCL centre in Vatia for Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki dairy farmers.