The availability of land is a really big priority in terms of increasing productivity for the agriculture industry right now as most of our flatland are suffering from saltwater intrusion due to the rise in sea water level and also the salinity levels of our rivers is increasing all the time.
Minister for Agriculture Vatimi Rayalu has highlighted this while responding to questions by fijivillage News on what the Ministry is doing to increase agricultural productivity and not be reliant on the tourism industry.
He says areas that used to be planted before can no longer be planted and that is something they need to fix.
The Minister says they can only do that if they put in maybe extra flood gates and some infrastructure to stop the intrusion of salt water.
He says some of the structures are already there and all they need is to repair and provide continuous maintenance and that should fix the problem.
When questioned on whether an assessment has been done on the level of saltwater intrusion, Rayalu says you do not need to do rocket science to see for yourself.
He says saltwater goes all the way up to the hills in Naitasiri and Sigatoka and that is how bad it is.
He adds they need to protect farming areas and cut off the intrusion of the seawater into farm areas.
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