August 26, 2021
Picture: Recipients of the broiler chicks and feeds.
One thousand subsistence poultry farmers in the Central division received nine broiler chicks each along with its Starter and Grower feeds.
The initiative comes under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Household Meat Supplementation program.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Ritesh Dass said the current distribution was possible through the assistance of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
“Vinaka Vakalevu to FAO who provided the funding of $120,000 that enabled us to provide poultry farmers we assisted a total of 10.5 tonnes of Grower and 4.5 tonnes of Starter feed. This would benefit 2,700 households in Fiji.
Our Agriculture officers have been going around delivering the chicks and feed to villages and farmers in the rural areas of the Central Division where each province received 250 chicks. So Tailevu, Rewa, Naitasiri, and Serua/Namosi each received that amount to support the objective of the program which is sustainable livelihood and food security.
These recipients are current farmers who are raising chicks on a subsistence level,” he said.
The current distribution is the second phase of this assistance. The first was conducted in the first quarter of this year.
Mr Dass said the earlier initiative was part of the Ministry’s ongoing capital program under Poultry Extension where a total of 100 broiler farmers were assisted in the Central Division. In other words, 25 farmers from each province of Rewa, Naitasiri, Tailevu and Serua/Namosi received six broiler chicks, six local crosses, and broiler starter and grower feed packages.
“A total of 576 households benefitted from that country-wide assistance valued at $30,000.”
In addition, he said, the Ministry had been encouraging and providing technical assistance to the subsistence broiler farmers and would be conducting basic husbandry training on broiler farming, as well.
According to the 2020 Fiji Agriculture Census Report, there are a total of 326,175 farmers in the Central Division who focused specifically on raising broiler chicks.
Ms Mareta Daunoco of Nakorovou, Rewa thanked the Ministry for the timely assistance given the family was one of those that currently faced the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My family made many plans to be self-sufficient on the farm and we have always planned to start our own broiler farm,” she said.
“We are unemployed now and we are feeling the pinch. At one time we were looking forward to receiving fortnight pays, but now, we are all trying to make ends meet and this assistance is a great help.”
Another recipient, Ms Marica Nika of Noco, Rewa said the assistance would not only be a source of food but it would also generate income for her family.