A 42-year-old former tourism employee is thankful that he was part of the Back to Rural Agriculture Program that has enabled him and his family to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic and it has also assisted them financially.
Mukesh Krishna says he used to work for the tourism sector for the past 15 years but was laid off due to COVID-19.
Krishna says he did a bit of backyard gardening during the days when the tourism sector was thriving and he was happily a part of it until the global pandemic brought that to a complete standstill.
The 42-year-old was assisted by the Agriculture Ministry under the Back to Rural Agriculture Program, which was launched by Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy in June.
The program is aimed at supporting Fijians who had lost their jobs due to the global pandemic and had returned to rural areas to focus on agriculture.
All recipients received a package valued at $400 that consisted of $250 worth of farming tools, $100 worth of planting materials and $50 cash for other items farmers may wish to purchase and also received chicks with its feed.
The Lomawai Settlement resident says agriculture has allowed him and his family to survive and is thanking the Ministry of Agriculture for all the hard work it's doing in looking after the agriculture sector.
With the tourism industry ready to welcome international visitors from next week, Krishna says he would return to tourism but is confident that at the same time he will expand his farm from next month.
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