Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy says that they are working towards having more fruit orchards in the future so that the fruit market can be exploited.


He says that taking data for the last five years into account, the average annual value of fruits imported was $16.3 million while the value of exports was only USD 1.36 million.


He says this could be avoided if some of these imported fruits could be planted locally.


Reddy says that last year alone they were able to set up 6 orchards of Guava, 8 orchards of avocado and 1 orchard of breadfruit which consists of a hundred trees each.


He says that the target is to set up forty orchard each year for the next three years.


Replying to Lynda Tubuya’s question on what incentives are given to farmers to pursue planting of fruits since there are not enough farmers interested, Reddy says that they are advertising and have a list of farmers at the moment.


He also says that they will provide farmers with land ready to plant, seedlings and a manual on how the plants is to be looked after.


Source: Shanil Singh, Fiji Village

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