Irrigation Project to Boost Farming Activities in Vuqele Settlement
The wellbeing of Fijians in rural and maritime areas remains a key priority of the Fijian Government as a building block for continued growth.
As the hub of critical primary economic activities such as agriculture, these rural and maritime communities play a critical role in the country’s overall development agenda.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Waterways, Environment and Agriculture Mahendra Reddy while commissioning a multipurpose Irrigation project for Vuqele farmers in Tavua yesterday.
While commissioning the project, Mr Reddy said it would enhance farming activities within the Vuqele Settlement, ensuring the community would also actively contribute towards the growth and expansion of the agriculture sector.
The desperate need for easy accessibility to water for rural communities as a determinant of people’s livelihoods through agricultural production, socio-economic development, and environmental protection was noted by Mr Reddy.
“Our Government is committed to creating a critical infrastructure in rural areas through which we sustain rural agriculture production,” said Mr Reddy.
He reiterated that the $30,684.43 Vuqele Multipurpose Irrigation Project would boost farming activities for the settlement and benefit more than 80 farmers, determining the sustenance of livelihoods through food and agriculture production.
Highlighting the potential contribution farmers could have on the agriculture sector, Mr Reddy emphasised that waterways service subsidises fundamentally to commercial agriculture contributing dramatically towards Fiji’s economy.
“This project will assist in better organising rural farmers through cluster farming, provision of extension services, farm-access roads, irrigation, mechanisation, marketing support, and export development,” said Mr Reddy.
Vuqele resident Dharmesh Chand, 49, acknowledged the Government assistance.
“Farmers had started to lose hope on farming because dozens of livestock were dying and tons of crops went bad due to the impacts of drought,” said Mr Chand.
“With this irrigation project, the farmers now will no longer have to worry about their stock or crops during the drought.
“This will allow farmers in the settlement to grow their crops or livestock at commercial level as their worst anxiety which was the water problem is now solved by the government through the Waterways Ministry,” he said
From left: Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Waterways and Environment Joshua Wycliffe with the Minister for Waterways, Environment and Agriculture Mahendra Reddy at the commissioning of the Multipurpose Irrigation Project for Vuqele Settlement on August 6, 2020.
Minister for Waterways, Environment and Agriculture Mahendra Reddy during a prayer session at the commissioning of the Multipurpose Irrigation Project for Vuqele Settlement on August 6, 2020.