Farmers across Fiji now have access to more quality seed varieties which are vital for growing horticultural crops and off-season farming, says the Hon. Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy.
The Hon. Minister made these comments while receiving a donation of over 600 packets East-West brand seeds at the National Agriculture Show in Nadi today.
Over 20 varieties of seeds have been given to the Ministry’s seed distribution initiative by KK’s Hardware with support from the Australian Government supported Market Development Facility (MDF).
The donation follows lengthy research trials by the Ministry of Agriculture in Sigatoka to determine the quality and suitability of East Seed varieties under Fiji’s climatic and soil conditions.
“In 2018 we conducted trials of the East West seeds at our Research Station in Sigatoka and on average the germination and yield results were better when compared to current seed varieties available in the market. For example, the East West seeds recorded over 90 per cent germination rates. Bitter gourd and long bean seed varieties also produced up to 13 per cent better yield,” said Dr Reddy.
“We are thankful for this timely contribution to our seed distribution initiative as quality seeds mean better yields and returns for our farmers, and improved agriculture supply for the domestic and export market,” he added.
The East West Seed Group is internationally renowned for seed research and production, and currently export to over 60 countries including across Asia.
Now for the first time these seeds are being made available in Fiji through KKs Hardware, a prominent local business based in Nadi.
“We’ve been serving our community for 33 years and recognise that agriculture is so important not only here in Fiji but also across the Pacific,” said KK’s Hardware Limited’s Chief Operation Officer, Kavit Karan.
“We want to support the industry by making the best resources like improved seed varieties more easily available to farmers and are really happy to be a part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s national seed distribution initiative. We would also like to acknowledge the business partnership with MDF that has allowed us to achieve this vision,” Karan added.
East West seed varieties now available in Fiji include bitter gourd, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, coriander, watermelon, long bean, okra and eggplant.