Hand-held trac­tors a big boost for Savusavu farm­ers

Fiji Sun - - BUSINESS - SHRATIKA NAIDU Feed­back: shratikan@fi­jisun.com.fj

Clus­ters of rice and vegetable farm­ers of Savusavu re­ceived a hand-held trac­tor each from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture to as­sist in farm cul­ti­va­tion and pro­duc­tion.

While hand­ing over the ma­chine to four clus­ters of farm­ers on Tues­day, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Ma­hen­dra Reddy, said they were work­ing very hard to as­sist small scale farm­ers who could not in­vest in mech­a­ni­sa­tion on their own.

Mech­a­ni­sa­tion in Fiji

He said they un­der­stood mech­a­ni­sa­tion in Fiji would take a bit more time be­cause there was a large num­ber of farm­ers who were small scale farm­ers.

“This is why the min­istry and Gov­ern­ment have come for­ward in terms of sup­port­ing you,” Mr Reddy told the 40 farm­ers.

“Thanks to the Gov­ern­ment of In­done­sia’s fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance, we were able to buy some ma­chines to as­sist small scale farm­ers in Fiji.” He said the ma­chine was given in Wainikoro, Seaqaqa, Tabia, Dreketi, Labasa and in Savusavu.

He said large scale farm­ers were able to cre­ate sur­plus to in­vest in ma­chin­ery to mech­a­nise farms.

“To as­sist small scale farm­ers, we formed clus­ters and then gave ma­chines.

“Mech­a­ni­sa­tion takes time and is done pro­gres­sively be­cause we are a small coun­try, re­sources are limited, and have more small scale farm­ers.

“Our ex­pec­ta­tion af­ter this han­dover is that with ma­chine as­sis­tance, it will re­sult in the im­prove­ment of farmer’s farm pro­duc­tion.

“It will mo­ti­vate you by giv­ing you farm power,” he said at the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture of­fice in Savusavu.

The names of the four clus­ters are Gua­navou Farm­ers Youth Group, Belego Road­side Vegetable Farm­ers Group, Banuve Vegetable Farm­ers Group and Nabua Rice Farm­ers Group.

Photo: Shratika Naidu

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Ma­hen­dra Reddy (mid­dle) with the re­cip­i­ents dur­ing the hand­ing over of the power tiller at the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture of­fice in Savusavu on Au­gust 4, 2020.

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