December 10, 2020
Picture :AMA staff transferring freshly packed taro into the freezer.
Fiji Agromarketing Authority has recorded a significant increase in monthly exports compared to last financial year.
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy revealed for the first quarter of the 2019/2020 Financial Year, AMA averaged an export of five containers shipped for export per month.
“For the first quarter of 2020/2021 this Financial Year, AMA has averaged an export of nine containers. Nearly doubling that amount from five to nine containers per month.
“This is an increase of about 80per cent,” he said.
The Minister recently made comments while providing an update of AMA’s Rural and Maritime Strategy.
He said it was undeniable that there was a genuine movement for agriculture growth development in Fiji.
He said in the last nine months there have been an increased participation of workers, farmers, households, exporters, and the corporate sector thus realizing the dream of growing and expanding commercial agriculture.
“We have witnessed an increase in exports from January to August this year compared to the same period last year by 15per cent in volume and 29per cent in value.
“That is phenomenal and when you put it in context, you will recall we had lockdowns, we had a curfew in place, there was an increase in freight rates, yet despite that we had this substantial increase. 15per cent in volume and 29per cent in value are no small increases,” he said.
Hon. Dr Reddy acknowledged all those that helped grow the agriculture sector, which he termed, a national movement.
“But I must thank everyone who have helped make the agriculture sector resilient and growing it, particularly over the last nine months as we pass through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said expanding commercial agriculture would ensure Fiji could grow with the surplus distributed amongst the production process thereby benefiting the landowner, laborer, to the supplier of plant materials.
“That is the agriculture sector we are proposing; one where we all grow together; it’s a collective inclusive development paradigm that we are pushing.”