The Chairman of the Fiji Crop & Livestock Council, Simon Cole, has thanked the Fiji Government for its “generous” support.
Government has allocated $400,000 in its 2018 National Budget for Council operations for the remainder of this year and has already provided office space in the Ministry of Primary Industry headquarters.
Government in 2010 to put greater emphasis on developing the commercial arm of the agricultural industry created FCLC.
In line with its mandate, FCLC has addressed a number of issues with one of its most important, the registering of farmers from the 14 commodities in Fiji that it represents. 30,000 farmers are now registered to FCLC.
Its relationship with Government has been reinforced over the years by two subsequent MOUs between Government and the Council as well as the support of Fiji’s Prime Minister, Varese Bainimarama when he opened the FCLC offices in Lautoka in 2014.
“Having moved offices from Lautoka into the Ministry, it means increased access directly into Government with a further opportunity to expand our resources to provide even greater services to our farmers,” said Cole.
Commodity associations that comprise FCLC are Pigs, Yaqona, Grazing Livestock, Dalo, Cocoa, Ginger, Rice, Beekeepers, Fruit and Vegetable, Organics, Copra, and Fiji Food Exporter Association
“One point I believe must be made clear, FCLC does not represent the farmers. FCLC is the farmers. Our role of facilitating and improving farming efforts commercially has now become a part of the whole agricultural fabric,” said Cole.