A Fijian Government delegation led by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Inia Seruiratu recently visited a Dairy Co-operative and Green Organic farm during the 20th Agricultural Technology (Agritech) Exhibition and Conference in Israel last week.
Seruiratu who was accompanied by Fiji’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mosese Tikoitoga, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, David Kolitagane, Director Research Dr. Apaitia Macanawai and Senior Economist of the Ministry of Agriculture, Osea Ratuyawa, at the Dairy Cooperative, saw first-hand the technological advancements used by the farm to ensure efficiency, minimal wastage and peak production.
The visiting delegation were briefed on various aspects of the farm which included animal feeds, breeds and breeding, calving, milking, animal husbandry, animal waste, infrastructure and the importance of maintenance.
In terms of feeds, participants saw first-hand how locally produced crops like hay, food waste, corn and other crops were used to formulate good quality feed for different nutrient requirements for dairy cows and calves.
They also learned how farmers made use of readily available energy sources like solar energy and biogas to supply their electricity needs.
This was also seen as a source of income for farmers by selling surplus energy or electricity to the main power authority.
In terms of animal waste, participants further learned how waste was recycled for irrigation, manure and land-fill.
The team also visited an organic farm called Green Organic which specialized in growing organic mixed vegetables, organic fruits, organic aquaculture, organic goat milk, organic poultry and eggs.
Seruiratu said Fiji needed to learn from these types of best practices and that these would be pursued through the proposed programme currently arranged under the Agro-Studies Programme and the Memorandum of Understanding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Co-operation (MASHAV) already signed with Israel.