June 15, 2021

Picture: Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy during the announcement at the MOA HQ in Raiwaqa.

Families living in informal settlements in the Central Division will soon receive dalo suckers to help feed their families nutritious dalo leaves known locally as rourou.

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

“We are looking at supplying 1,892 households with rourou planting material of the dalo variety to start off from this week as this is a targeted project,” he said.

“We’ve got 50,000 dalo suckers with us now to start off with and we will be providing each household in these target areas with 10 dalo suckers each,” added Minister Reddy.

With dalo suckers being able to grow their leaves in a relatively short period of time, it was an opportunity for families in the targeted informal settlements to plant these suckers for their food security.

“The targeted areas will be the lockdown areas and the squatter (informal) settlements. We’re looking at targeting the vulnerable population and the squatter settlements in the Central Division,” said Hon. Reddy.

“Only these areas will be considered for this round whereby we will be providing about 50,000 suckers to about 1,892 households. Again, I reiterate that this is only for the squatter settlements and lockdown areas in this first phase of this particular project, so we are quite excited about supporting these households starting from tomorrow, both in the Central Division parts of the Western Division, particularly in Nadi,” he added. 

Amidst the lockdown, it has been realized that families have faced challenges accessing fresh fruits and vegetable. As much as this has been addressed through the home garden seed packages, the Ministry of Agriculture is complementing this by supplying these targeted households, affected by COVID-19 with 10 suckers of this variety of dalo that is grown for its leaves.

Once established, a family of four, every fortnight, can sustainably harvest enough leaves for their meal.