SOURCE: Sainiani Boila, FBC News
Fiji imports $17million worth of fresh fruits annually.
These fruits include grapes, oranges, apples, pears and kiwi fruit together with $3.8million worth of processed fruits.
These imported fruits have substituted locally grown tropical fruits such as guava, mango, avocado, mandarin and other indigenous fruits in our hotels and supermarkets.
Speaking at the establishment of 45 new Orchard farmers, Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy says Fiji has the potential to cut more than $24million of its import.
Dr Reddy says the new farmers will help the sector achieve this goal as they had successfully met the selection criteria for assistance under the Ministry of Agriculture’s 2021-2022 Fruit Tree programme.
“When you are in agriculture, when you have control of agriculture, you will have control of your destiny, your future. The choices you are going to make now will determine the quality of the future of your children and your grandchildren.”
Through this assistance, the Ministry will provide budgetary and technical support to successful recipients that include land preparation, supply of agro-inputs, planting materials and as well as providing regular advisory services.
The fruit tree orchards that will be set up by the Ministry at these 45 successful sites are banana, orange, avocado, breadfruit, jackfruit, drinking coconut, mangosteen, and rambutan.