The presence of the Ministry of Agriculture in any area is important and plays a very significant role in connecting farmers with the Ministry’s services.
This was relayed by Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy while officially commissioning the newly constructed Nayavu Agriculture Station and staff quarters in Wainibuka, Tailevu yesterday.
Minister Reddy said maintaining the Ministry’s presence in any locality was critical in ensuring a beneficial association with farming communities.
“That connection is vital if we want to continue to raise productivity, and is vital in terms of incentivizing farmers and motivating them to engage effectively in the agriculture sector.
“One of the strategic advantages that Fiji has is in agriculture, apart from tourism and other economic driven resource sectors, we have this strategic advantage in agriculture but in order to take advantage of that and the placement of this sector we need to constantly upskill ourselves, we need to improve the depth of knowledge in the Ministry and engage and entice farmers to utilize the land,” he said.
“We want you, our farmers to engage in agriculture and to put arable land under productive use, it is for this reason that we have maintained this agricultural extension services here in Nayavu to boost productions and contribute to the Ministry’s overall vision for the sector,” Reddy added.
Nayavu Agriculture Station serves 5 districts, 22 villages and 23 settlements, which is inclusive of a total of 918 households and 796 farmers in a total population of approximately 4,000 people.
“So we want you to utilize the approximately 3,300 hectares of land here in the locality and we’re ready to assist you and we’re here to provide you with the knowledge about what crop you want to cultivate but what we want you to understand is that you need to put in your 100 percent effort,” said Minister Reddy.
“We were here, we are here and we will remain here to support you but we want you to look at the land as a productive asset, as a productive capital to generate positive returns and create value,” he said.
The total construction costs for the new Nayavu Agriculture Station and staff quarters were $745.560.00.