The British American Tobacco has awarded 500 farmers during their Annual Star Farmer Incentive Awards.
While speaking at the awards ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica says he has heard from BAT Fiji General Manager, Sam Domor that the farming equipment to be awarded to BAT star farmers is worth more than $70,000.
Kamikamica says he acknowledges BAT Fiji for supporting farmers for 68 years which is more than six decades of support to the agriculture industry and support to farmers to cultivate tobacco and other agricultural produce outside of the growing season.
He says through the support provided by BAT Fiji, farmers present at the awards have been able to earn $1,000 per hectare, on average, in the last season.
Kamikamica says he is proud to hear that 500 farmers and not just men but women farmers too are being awarded and it would be remiss, if he did not mention the important role women continue to play in contributing to agriculture and rural livelihood.
The Deputy Prime Minister says despite the impact of COVID-19 and natural disasters, the agriculture sector is still cushioning our economy, quite evidently indicated by the figures for agriculture export in 2021, which increased by 43.7 percent compared to 2019 by $284.9 million.
He says these figures show how farmers are contributing to the growth of the nation and the Government wants them to continue this good work in partnership with them.
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