2 December, 2022, 3:27 pm Central - 26°C Rain

Government will amend the Illicit Drugs Control Act to start industrial hemp industry in the country

Government will amend the Illicit Drugs Control Act to start industrial hemp industry in the country

By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Saturday 16/07/2022
[Image: File Photo]

The government will also amend the Illicit Drugs Control Act to start the industrial hemp industry in the country.

The Minister for Economy stresses that industrial hemp is not marijuana as the THC level is much lower.

The THC level has to be lower than 1 percent.

These will be imported and then seeds will be provided to farmers to start planting industrial hemp.

With an effort to assist farmers recover, $250,000 has been allocated for SELF for large livestock commercial farmers.

Para vets will work with farmers where this is for those who have completed vet science programme.

$323,050 has also been allocated for Yaqara Pastoral. $1.2 million allocated to Food Processors Limited.

The government will also outsource land clearing and farm mechanisation services to private contractors to boost farmer access to land cultivation machinery. The Ministry of Agriculture will receive $7 million in FY2022-2023 for this initiative.

An allocation of $400,000 will be provided for the yaqona farming programme, $600,000 for ginger farming, $200,000 for dalo farming, and $350,000 for rice farming.

The Women in Agriculture programme will receive an allocation of $300,000, and a further $300,000 will be provided to improve farm access roads.

Fiji Rice Limited will also receive a capital grant of $1.3 million.

The Ministry of Agriculture has a slight decrease to their 2022-2023 budget of $64.1 million compared to $61 million in the last financial year.

Considering current challenges faced by farmers in securing machines for land preparation and the drive to cultivate more land for agriculture, engagement of private contractors will be considered to boost this activity.

This initiative will support outsourcing of land clearing and farm mechanisation services, as a way forward in accelerating transition to fully mechanising the sector and addressing recurring obstacles such as establishment of farm access road, ensure easy market access, establishment of large scale farms - orchards etc.

The government has also realised the impact of increasing costs of doing business by farmers and has provided the much needed support with the increase in copra price support to $1,350 per tonne and $400 per tonne to producers and millers respectively.

2022-2023 Budget Coverage

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