The Fijian Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture has taken a holistic, integrated, and innovative approach towards addressing the nations’ food and nutrition security.

This was highlighted by Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy while visiting newly established orchard farms at Volivoli in Sigatoka today.

“Part of the Ministry’s role is making sure that every Fijian household has access to locally grown, safe and nutritive produce in their kitchen.

“The Ministry of Agriculture has a number of programs that focus on the promotion of locally grown fruits and vegetables and within these Ministry initiatives, there exist opportunities for farmers who are seriously considering growing local fruits for the local and export markets,” he said.

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“There are programs that also target the promotion of local fruits and vegetables for import substitution whereby many of these produce have a much higher nutritive value, like guava and mandarins to name a few,” he added.

The “Establishment of Fruit tree Orchards” program was also relayed to farmers with the Ministry aiming to establish 40 orchards annually over the next three years for local fruits.

“This will reduce our import bills on fruits, improve farmer’s livelihoods and most importantly improve the health of Fiji’s general population while also ensuring a steady supply of local fruits to the markets,” Minister Reddy said.

“Fiji’s twenty year and five year National Development Plan has set a food security goal that ‘Every Fijian has access to adequate food of acceptable quality and nutritional value’. This similar target is clearly highlighted in the draft Ministry of Agriculture 5 year Strategic Development Plan indicating our commitment to ensuring a food and nutrient secure Fiji,” he added.