SUVA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian Agriculture Ministry has introduced a Young Farmers Business Incubation Scheme for youths engaged in commercial farming, local media reported on Friday.
According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Fiji's Agriculture Minister Mahendra Reddy said the new initiative will engage 100 youths aged between 20-30 years for intensive hands-on training over a three-year incubation period, with a focus on youths with land readily available for agricultural purposes and who are already engaged in farming.
Reddy said these youths will be required to produce for local and export markets as they will be guided towards farming as a business.
"We want every farmer to do well, we want every farmer to get the maximum output from his farm, whether the farmer is planting pineapple, sugarcane, rice or livestock. We want the farmer to do well," he said, adding that the involvement of Fijian youths at an early stage was critical as they would benefit from the government's investment in the initial stages of their farming venture.
Fiji's Agriculture Ministry also has initiatives to support all agricultural farmers in an effort to meet local and export needs.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Fiji's economy, and contributes around 28 percent of the total employment directly and more indirectly.