February 1, 2019
Farmers in the Western Division have been urged to reinvest their time, resources and money into their farms to ensure further expansion.
This was reiterated by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy while speaking to farmers of Koro No. 2 in Tavua whereby he advised them to think like entrepreneurs and to view farming as a serious business.
“We will not be able to grow the agriculture sector by constantly pouring Government grants into small and semi-subsistence farmers, as they need to grow and expand on their own after the grants and subsidies are given to them by Government.
Hon. Reddy highlighted the need for farmers to make informed decisions and to invest their money on their own after receiving Government assistance.
“We will realize the growth of the agriculture sector if farmers take out a portion of their profits and reinvest it back into their farms,” he emphasized.
He also reiterated that agricultural production must not be derived by Government grants, subsidies and assistance because this won't be sustainable in the longer run. Instead we will build a culture of dependency and will retain and attract inefficient, part time leisure farmers.
“Government doesn’t want agriculture to be driven by grants and subsidies, rather we want agriculture growth and supply to be driven by the demands in the market and you play a major role in this as farmers,” he said.
While responding to the issues raised by livestock farmers on Koro No. 2 in Tavua, Minister Reddy assured them of improved cattle breeds that would be supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture, which would increase milk production on their farms.
Minister Reddy concludes his tour of the Western Division today whereby farmers raised agriculture, waterways, environmental and other related issues during the three-day consultative visits.