September 19, 2023

A farmer asks AG to take care of the agricultural sector and not rely on tourism

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum answers question to Nakasi during budget consultation

If farmers continue to face land tenure issues, I don’t know when they will be able to contribute to the country’s economic development and GDP.

This was emphasized by a farmer from Nakasi during the budget consultation with the Minister of Economy.

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said tourism contributes 40% to GDP and has a huge impact on the economy.

He says, however, that the focus is also on the agricultural sector, business process outsourcing and sports.

He further says he had a meeting on Saturday in Kuku where a man said there is too much cassava now and they are not getting the right price and asked how to help them.

Sayed-Khaiyum says he heard a politician say they would solve the inflation problem by growing more cassava and dalo.

He says if everyone grows dalo and cassava, farmers will complain that they only get 5 cents per kilogram.

People’s Alliance leader Sitiveni Rabuka said earlier that Fiji’s poverty rate could be much lower if we get more people in rural areas, including villages, into farming to earn more.

He says this is the party’s response to reduce poverty levels because people can earn a lot of money by planting crops like cassava and dalo because calculations show that these crops bring in more money per ton than sugar. He says that unfortunately many former rural dwellers have moved to urban centers where daily income must be earned in order to maintain a respectable and acceptable lifestyle.