People expected to benefit from cassava development program

People expected to benefit from cassava development program

By Marika Rasekaseka
Wednesday 08/12/2021
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Doctor Mahendra Reddy. [Image: Ministry of Agriculture]

People from Vakabuli village, Vitogo, Naviyago, Varewa settlement, Vadreyawa and Vanuakula settlements are expected to benefit from the cassava development program.

The program is drawn up by Organic Tavioka (Fiji) Pte Limited and the company is willing to plough, harvest and process their cassava into cassava flour.

While officiating at the launching of the Vertically Integrated Cassava Flour Enterprise that is owned by Tavioka Organic (Fiji) Pte Limited at Drasa, Lautoka, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Doctor Mahendra Reddy says the introduction of organic cassava flour into the market as a substitute for imported regular wheat flour bodes well towards the Fijian Government’s import substitution effort.

Doctor Reddy says in 2020, Fiji imported around $111.4 million worth of wheat as flour is the main component in our diet and is used in pastry and bakery products.

He says with cassava being available locally with its commercialization in phases, it would bring in positive effects that would impact farmers to prepare them for changes that would come to this new venture.

Minister Reddy also praised the acumen of Organic Tavioka (Fiji) Pte Limited’s founder and owner, Anwar Khan in taking a step further to add value and process cassava flour at a commercial level, while employing a business model that supported community development.

Meanwhile, Khan says his goal is to help contribute to the economy by providing opportunities to neighbouring communities and to have a social impact. Khan says cassava is one of the simplest crops to grow, it is a global $10 billion industry and yet we’re sitting idle on our land.

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