June 15, 2021

Picture: Seed distribution by Maria Qalo in Lami.

The Ministry of Agriculture has so far distributed more than $120,000 worth of seed packs to affected families during this lockdown period.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy today during a press conference held at the Ministry’s conference room in Grantham Road, Raiwaqa.

“Up till now, it (Home Garden Programme) has cost the Ministry approximately $129,832.00, and that is the worth of the seed packs we have distributed so far,” he said.

Hon. Reddy also applauded families that had utilised the seed package assistance, adding that since the programme would continue, Fijians living outside the containment areas who were interested in home gardening could obtain their seed packs from their nearest agriculture extension office.

“To date, as of yesterday, we have distributed seed packs to about 16,229 households so we are very thankful to these households who came forward to participate in this programme.

“Since we started this second round of COVID-19 we have seen an overwhelming response and also we have seen people are now harvesting vegetables from the seed packs that we had provided,” said Minister Reddy.

“We are urging all households if you have some free land around your home you put it to good use,” he added.

In any one pack of seeds, there are an assortment of vegetable seeds ranging from French bean, Chinese cabbage, long bean, okra, tomatoes, capsicum, and eggplant in it.

The Ministry has distributed 16,229 packs of seeds which accounts to a total of 64,916 individual seed packs. The seed distribution has thus far been concentrated in the lockdown areas, with 30 per cent being distributed in the Western Division and 70 per cent in the Central Division.