LABASA FARMERS TO BENEFIT FROM BACKYARD GARDENING INITIATIVE

A total of fifty Labasa residents today received backyard gardening packages from the Ministry of Agriculture to help foster healthier lifestyles and improve their physical fitness.

The backyard gardening initiative is part of five new initiatives adopted by the Ministry to further improve agricultural development and the overall output of the sector.

When officiating during the distribution of the packages at Naseakula Village, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon. Jale Sigarara said Government was intent on encouraging rural and urban household farming to produce and consume healthier and nutritious crops.

“Those who do not have a large yard for gardening do not have to feel left out, they can still grow many of their favorite vegetables and even sell the surplus to generate extra income for their families.”

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“Due to the increasing needs for food production, the program targets urban and peri-urban areas to positively impact the lives of ordinary Fijians wherever they are,” he said.

“Many families living in urban and peri-urban areas are always challenged by limited land area and space, knowledge and resources for planting.”

The program will introduce very simple techniques such as horizontal and vertical container methods to optimize space for planting in order to also ease increasing cost of living.

“It will ensure that Fijians living in these areas have improved access to nutritious fresh produce which should have a major reduction in food costs.”

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Recipient Sefanaia Rokodua of Naseakula village, said the initiative would assist him in maintaining his fitness and combating non-communicable diseases.

“With my current condition of being in crutches, the option of going to plant far from home is not available to me, however, this initiative will enable me to plant in my backyard and eat from what I am capable of planting and this will also help me exercise daily,” he said.

A same number of backyard gardening packages will be distributed in Savusavu later this week.