Reddy Tells: How Deal Helps Cas­sava Farm­ers on Ovalau

Fiji Sun - - NATION - ROSI DOVIVER­ATA Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: rosi.doviver­ata@fi­jisun.com.fj

Farm­ers of Levuka will soon have the lux­ury of hav­ing their cas­sava bought di­rectly from their farms. Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Ma­hen­dra Reddy told vil­lagers in Viro that this was made pos­si­ble af­ter a re­quest from busi­ness­man Ben Naidu for eight tonnes of cas­sava monthly. The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, through the Agro Mar­ket­ing Author­ity (AMA), are work­ing with Mr Naidu to de­ter­mine a suit­able price.

“This means you don’t have to take your cas­sava to Suva, we will buy it here at your farm,” Mr Reddy said.

He said if the vol­ume was big enough, they could also es­tab­lish a col­lec­tion cen­tre.

The ad­van­tage with Ovalau was the short dis­tance from the is­land to the mainland. Mr Reddy also urged farm­ers to work closely with agri­cul­tural of­fi­cers about the kind of crop they should grow that has a po­ten­tial mar­ket.

Vil­lage Bound­ary

To­masi Lakeba, a for­mer Pa­cific Fishing Com­pany (PAFCO) man­ager, re­sides out­side the Viro Vil­lage bound­ary. He re­quested that they be con­sid­ered in fu­ture projects. He was de­lighted to meet Mr Reddy and re­lay di­rectly to him the chal­lenges he and other res­i­dents out­side the vil­lage bound­ary faced.

This in­cluded the in­un­da­tion of wa­ter into their com­pounds.

Meet­ing Min­is­ters

Mr Lakeba said: “We are grate­ful that we are able to not just meet the Prime Min­is­ter but have the chance to meet other min­is­ters as well.”

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Water­ways and En­vi­ron­ment, Ma­hen­dra Reddy with stu­dents of Viro Pri­mary School on July 15, 2020.

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