Government will now provide weedicide and fertilizer subsidies to boost production of non-sugar crops

Government will now provide weedicide and fertilizer subsidies to boost production of non-sugar crops

By Karishma Kumari
Friday 30/06/2023
[Photo: File]

Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says for the first time government will now be providing weedicide and fertilizer subsidies for non-sugar crops including rice, ginger, dalo, and cassava with funding of $1 million to boost the production of these crops.

He says they will review the entire dairy industry which is another disaster left by the previous government as the dairy industry is on the verge of collapse therefore $5 million is allocated to Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited and for the dairy extension programme.

Professor Prasad says the agricultural sector plays an important role in food security, income generation, employment, rural development, and economic diversification therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways has been allocated a budget of $95.2 million.

Professor Prasad says this is a major increase of $37.3 million.

He says a total of $13.9 million is allocated to fund the agricultural marketing authority, Committee on Better Utilization of Land, and commercial agriculture development.

A total of more than $47.5 million is provided for the crops and livestock research and extension services to strengthen agricultural productivity.

$5.3 million is allocated for farm access roads, provision of tractors, and existing agricultural offices and quarters.

Deputy Prime Minister further says the Department of Waterways is allocated a budget of $22.1 million to improve the drainage system around the country which is also in a very bad condition and has been neglected over so many years.

He says to improve the drainage schemes a total of $16.2 million is allocated to cater for major river dredging, coastal erosion protection, watershed management, and maintenance of rice irrigation drainage.

Professor Prasad also says the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji supports Fiji’s agricultural produce exporters by providing information, inspection, and certification to meet the import requirements of overseas countries, moving forward, BAF and the Ministry of Agriculture need to work together to create farmer awareness (such as farmer outreach activities) the list of agricultural produce under current pathways and market access, support market access negotiations and retention of such markets and new export pathways are developed and adopted.

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