Fiji works to grow farm exports


Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture says it has as many as 60 initiatives operating in the country’s Western Division alone that are aimed at reducing the country’s fresh food imports and enhance exports instead, according to deputy permanent secretary Uraia Waibuta as quoted in local media.<!--more-->

“We have drawn up development plans for our stakeholders, in this case, our farmers to encourage them to cultivate their land for export,” he was quoted in the Fiji Times as saying. “Right now, the bulk of our program is in the West which is about 60 in total.”

Confidence in the potential for exports has been boosted because of positive developments like the New Zealand market reopening for Fiji’s eggplant exports, which generated an annual income of some $5million.

This comes after New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, which had put all eggplant exports from Fiji on hold temporarily after live eggs of one of the three new species of shoot fly were intercepted in a consignment of eggplants imported from Fiji in December last year, was lifted.

“Our eggplant export to New Zealand has resumed and because of this we are expecting an improvement in our vegetable exports,” Mr Waibuta said.