Koya also signed the cooperation agreement between the ministry and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) regional vice president Asia and the Pacific, Ms Nena Stoiljkovic.

IFC, a sister organisation of the World Bank and a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

While addressing stakeholders from the tourism and agriculture sectors, Koya highlighted the importance of enhancing the link between the two sectors with 48 per cent of fresh produce needs of hotels being sourced locally.

The report, From the Farm to the Tourist’s Table, shows that while hotels have increased their use of local fresh produce since 2011, there is still room for improvement.

The study also reveals that Fiji has the potential to cut $24 million of its import bill by focusing its resources on growing or producing certain fresh produce locally.

“The Fijian Government has in place policies and programmes that encourage more local production and consumption, in the tourism sector, as well as addressing standards and capacity gaps. This study ties in nicely with Fiji’s Tourism Development Plan (FT 2021) by highlighting ways to work with the hotel industry to achieve our goal of increasing the value of tourism to the local economy,” Koya said.

“This is also in line with our Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign, an initiative that encourages consumption of local goods and services.”

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