528 Farmers to Benefit from R2R
Atotal of 528 farmers across the country will benefit from the GEF STAR Fiji National R2R project, which is significant in biodiversity for sustainable development.
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy made those comments at the launch of the Ridge - to Reef (R2R), Ministry of Agriculture Project Component 1 and 2 for Ba and Tuva Catchments at Legalega Research Station, Nadi yesterday.
Mr Reddy said: “Our biodiversity is the heritage for the future generation. We only have to protect it, if we don’t act now, we will inevitably end up destroying our future.
“Thus, protected and available for our future generations in the same form as our ancestors had bequeathed to us.”
The project cost $650, 000 and is part of the steps involved to address biodiversity loss due to agricultural activity.
“We want to see this sector grow but we need to ensure that our livestock do not contaminate the waterways.”
The minister said they would provide opportunities for these farmers to protect their livestock through provision of fencing materials.
He added the project would be carried out in the six catchments; Ba, Labasa, Rewa/Waidina, Tunuloa, Tuva and Vunivia where the Ministry will assist 226 farmers in the western divisions, 226 in the north and 72 farmers in the central division.
“We will be also working with farmers to further enhance the biodiversity of the catchments by planting forest tree species outside the fence areas to restore and rehabilitate what has been damaged,” Mr Reddy said.
“The loss of forest habitat is a leading cause of species extinction, and reforestation is one of two established interventions for reversing this loss.
This reforestation effort will protect the animals and rebuild habitats.
Mr Reddy thanked GEF, UNDP and R2R projects, for recognising the need to mainstream biodiversity across sectors and being practical on implementing and being practical on implementing such initiatives through funding and required resources.
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy (second from right; front row) with farmers at the launch of the Ridge to Reef (R2R), Ministry of Agriculture Project Component 1 and 2 for Ba and Tuva Catchments at Legalega Research Station, Nadi on May 13, 2020.