His Excellency The President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote launched the Ministry of Agriculture Fiji’s Backyard Gardening Initiative in Tavua.

Successful applicants in Tavua received backyard farming packages of seedlings, potting bags, garden soil and seedlings for crops and fruit trees.

The President is an avid backyard farmer and shared tips on maintaining plantations, while also noting the necessity for Fijian families to each well and the huge expenses incurred from NCDs.

“Government has spent about $400 million every year to treat NCD-related illness. That is a lot of money which could be better utilized in other sectors such as agriculture and education etc,” he said.

MUST READ  Billions in tax relief for business, $1 billion fund for jobs, and help for the vulnerable

Each farming package is worth $65 each and the initiative is to spur backyard gardening in urban and peri-urban areas for food security and nutritional improvement.

His Excellency also made a site visit to the backyard garden of program recipient, Mrs Premila Lata in Bangaldesh, Tavua. He was accompanied by Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Viam Pillay, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. David Kolitagane and ministerial staff.