Agriculture to be used as a tool to fight poverty - Rayalu

Agriculture to be used as a tool to fight poverty - Rayalu

By Alipate Narawa
Friday 24/05/2024
Agriculture Minister Vatimi Rayalu ( Source : Parliament of the Republic of Fiji )

Agriculture can be used as a tool to fight poverty and other social ills in Fiji.

Agriculture Minister Vatimi Rayalu has made these comments in parliament and adds that poverty leads to many other social ills such as drug and substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide, and exploitation of children to name a few.

He says poverty is a cancer, eating away at the muscle, flesh and bone of society that must be addressed head on by government and relevant stakeholders.

The Agriculture Minister says the Household and Income Expenditure Survey for the period of 2019-2020 estimated that the Poverty Incidence Level in Fiji impacted 24.1 percent of our population.

He says poverty is a bottleneck to socioeconomic development and if we are to improve people’s lives in Fiji, greater efforts must be made by government to fight and reduce poverty.

The Minister says according to the last Agriculture Census Report close to 40 percent of households in Fiji are involved in agriculture, yet they are often constrained by the limited access to resources, services, technologies, markets, and the economic opportunities that lower productivity and income levels.

He says the ministry’s objective to fully realising the potential of agriculture as a tool for socio-economic development growth has led to the formulation of a 5 year plan from 2024-2028 that aligns with the government’s National Development Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to develop and transform agriculture in Fiji. While supporting the Agriculture Minister, the Opposition Leader, Inia Seruiratu says there is always support from the opposition in terms of agriculture and in key sectors as well.

He also thanks the Minister for bringing up the Poverty Incidence Level according to the 2019-2020 Household and Income Expenditure Survey report.

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