October 29, 2020
Picture : Minister for Agriculture Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, the Hon. Faiyaz Koya and Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon. Viam Pillay at the 2020 Western Agriculture Show at Koroivolu Park, Nadi
This was revealed by the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, the Hon. Faiyaz Koya while officiating at the Western Agriculture Show in Nadi on Wednesday (28.10.20).
He said for the past five years, agriculture’s contribution to the GDP averaged around 4.2percent.
“In 2019, agriculture (only Crop and Livestock) contributed around $725.8million,” he said.
Hon. Koya said Fiji’s agriculture exports continued to grow in the first half of 2020 with exports of fresh and chilled commodities growing by 15percent in comparison to 2018.
“This growth is attributed to Kava exports to the US, Taro to New Zealand and Australia, Tumeric and Ginger to the US, Spices to the Netherlands and fresh produce exports to Pacific Island Countries.”
Hon. Koya said it was important to maintain consistency of supply and quality of produce to enable Fiji to maintain existing markets and explore new ones.
“With quality comes packaging and branding. This is why, I want to use the platform of the Agriculture Show to remind you of your very own national brand the ‘Fijian Made-Buy Fijian’ initiative.
“The Fijian Made brand provides opportunities, especially for farmers to get brand recognition locally and globally,” he said.
The Minister said there was great potential for more Fijian farmers to join the Campaign and strongly encouraged them to do so, if they had not already.
He said being licensed as ‘Fijian Made’ or ‘Fijian Grown’ provided leverage to marketing farmers produce in the domestic and global market.
“Over the years, the licensed businesses have benefited from this consolidated branding approach. It has given them a national brand platform, which depicts quality, authenticity and standards.”
“As part of the national branding, the Fijian Trade Commissions based in the critical markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States and Pacific Island Countries, provide technical support and guide businesses on procedures to be met to enter the markets,” he said.
Hon. Koya said the 2020 Agriculture Show highlighted the need for a collaborative effort to ensure that Fiji sustained its food system and a timely reminder that coordinated actions, today would definitely determine the country’s future.
The Western Agriculture Show is currently held at Koroivolu Park, Nadi with the National Farmers Awards to be held on Friday.