The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy yesterday concluded his Northern tour with consultative visits to farmers in Bua.
Reddy met with farmers of Qaraniqoli, Droca, Nakalavo, Korokadi and Coboi in Bua and held informal talanoa sessions with them regarding their various issues while also giving feedback and possible solutions to it.
This was one of the many visits by Dr. Reddy to the areas of Qaraniqoli, Korokadi and Coboi however, for Droca and Nakalavo it was the first time for them to receive a Fijian Government delegation led by a Minister.
Advisory Councilor Viliame Hari Charan Kinikinilau said the farmers were pleased to have met with the Hon. Minister and senior Ministry officials as they were able to voice their concerns and problems faced in the area.
“We greatly appreciate the commitment by the Minister as he moves around with the whole team and discusses farmers issues at length and provides real solutions and timely feedback at the same time,” said Viliame.
During his two-day Northern tour, Dr. Reddy assured farmers on assistance that would be provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways such as drainage work, irrigation, provision of tractor work, chemicals for drenching animals and weeding, fencing materials, breeder sheep, seeds and seedlings at a subsidized rate, all of which would be rationed among all farmers that needed assistance.
He reiterated that Government remained committed to assisting all farmers and would not focus on assisting just one farmer on numerous occasions.
Farmers were also encouraged to use Governments support to expand and grow on their own.
“Government wants agriculture to expand, to increase exports and reduce import thus we cannot depend on part-time and leisure farmers, so farmers need to be passionate about taking up farming as a business,” he said.