Fijian gov't mulls empowering small-scale farmers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-25 19:21:35|Editor: mmm
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SUVA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government with the Pacific Community (SPC) organized the third Fiji Agriculture Rural Advisory Services (FAAS) Forum, in a joint effort to promote effective partnership in agriculture extension and rural advisory services in Fiji.

The FAAS held in Nadi, Fiji's third largest city recently, re-emphasized the project goal "to empower poor smallholder farmers and producer organizations in Asia-Pacific Region (APR) through access to improved, more effective, and demand-driven agricultural advisory services."

A Fijian government statement said on Tuesday that this initiative was funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services (PIRAS), the Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS), and Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA) through a catalytic project.

Deputy Secretary Corporate Services and Planning for Fiji's Ministry of Agriculture Vatimi Rayalu reaffirmed the government's commitment and support towards the project.

Fiji's Ministry of Agriculture had embarked on the modernization program and the sector has shown significant growth of 11 percent in 2017 with a forecast of further growth this year.

About 100,000 households in Fiji engage in agricultural activities such as growing crops, raising livestock, fishing, freshwater aquaculture or marine aquaculture, but the island nation with a population of more than 880,000 still showed a negative agriculture trade.