June 15, 2021

Picture: Farmers registered under Cash for Cultivation program.

The Ministry of Agriculture has received an overwhelming response from farmers applying to be part of the Cash for Cultivation initiative.

This was confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy today during a press conference.

Minister Reddy said during this second phase of the Cash for Cultivation programme, which was launched following the second wave of COVID-19 in Fiji, the targeted number of 3,000 farmers was exceeded shortly after the announcement was made.

“Now in the second phase of the Cash for Cultivation programme which was launched after the second round of COVID-19, and with thanks to the Government of Australia for the budget of FJD$800.000 we are targeting 3,000 farming households.

“We have received 3,344 applications. Out of that, 1,805 has been processed and we are quickly looking at making the first tranche payment,” said Hon. Reddy.

“So at the moment, we have reached the target of 3,000 and we are not accepting any more expression of interest. In case we get additional funding, then we will open up for phase 3,” he added.

The verification process has so far been concluded for 1,805 of the applications received so far with 1,388 applications approved thus far and are set to receive their first tranche payment soon.

Minister Reddy said the geographical distribution of approved applications by division was 461 for the Western Division, 576 for the Central Division, 111 for the Northern Division and 240 for the Eastern Division.

“The numbers reflect the situation on the ground and we are very happy that the highest numbers are in the Central and Western Divisions so we look forward to processing their first tranche payments quickly so they can get on with the fieldwork (land preparation) and once they’ve completed it, we will provide the remainder of $125.00.”

The Ministry is working with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to implement the programme with donor funding from the Government of Australia.