EU hands over 34,550 seedlings to boost agriculture sector
Over half a million seeds altogether to be provided as part of $10m assistance for the industry
The European Union yesterday handed over 34,550 seedlings to the Ministry of Agriculture at the Devesh Nurseries in Votualevu, Nadi. This was in a bid to boost our agriculture sector which was badly hit by the Tropical Cyclone Winston. In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston, the EU the past month announced an initial $10 million assistance for our agriculture sector that will be administered by Pacific Community (SPC). EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said the project will include over half million seeds provided through the programme. “These seedlings are being produced by the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) project that is funded by the EU,” he said. Mr Jacobs this will boost the farmer and their respective farms to return to their feet and assist the local economy as well.
“This is the first batch of seedling of tomatoes, papaya, eggplants and other range of fruits and vegetables made available through the farmers in few weeks time another 204,000 and later another 204,000.”
SPC Acting Deputy Director Dr Ken Cokanasiga said: “The IKSA project is all about developing new opportunities in horticultural and within the sugar belt areas, through research and assisting farmers to venture into horticultural crops.”
“We’re assisting forestry and fisheries sectors’ damage assessments and providing advice to the livestock sector on the appropriate disposal of dead animals, animal disease control considerations and provision of veterinary services to affected animals.” Acting Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Uraia Waibuta, on behalf of the Government, thanked the EU and SPC. He said: “This support could not come at a much better time than this when our people are in dire need of fast maturing crops and quick cash crops to help them bounce back from the devastations effects of TC Winston.” Mr Waibuta said this assistance will surely supplement the supply of seeds and Kumala cutting provided by the Ministry. “This support to help us get Fiji back to its path of economic growth, however, we can only do that with collective efforts and today’s occasion is the true testament of that,” he said. Meanwhile, another 8330 seedlings are also ready to be dispatched for the Northern Division.
EU Ambassdor to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, hands over the seedling to Acting Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Uraia Waibuta, at
Votualevu, Nadi yesterday.
From left: Acting Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Uraia Waibuta, Mrs Jacobs, EU Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, and
Nursery owner, Devesh Nath, at Votualevu, Nadi yesterday.