September 19, 2023

The Fiji Times » Local agricultural sector expansion plan

We have a plan to develop, expand and diversify the agricultural sector, explains Ratu Osea Vutikalulu.

And the provisional candidate of the Liberal Social Democratic Party (SODELPA) in the 2022 general election said he believed boosting agriculture was the best way to move the country forward economically.

The 65-year-old from Naveicovatu in Wainibuka said his vast experience and expertise in the region gave him the ability to craft the agricultural development plans that Fiji desperately needed.

Ratu Osea is a farmer and member of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council and President of the Fiji Cocoa Farmers Association.

“The current government does not support farmers and the agricultural sector,” he said.

“With the enhanced agricultural development plans that SODELPA and our team of experts have already put in place, we will focus on expanding and diversifying the agricultural sector to make it the backbone of Fiji’s future economy. Landowners, resource owners, farmers and tenants deserve more support and assistance – from crop development to subsidies to market development.

Ratu Osea said there is a need to expand the cocoa industry in the country and develop cocoa products, from dry beans to processed cocoa products such as chocolate.

“Our goal is to eventually buy wet cocoa beans from farmers at a sustainable price, dry them and sell them locally or for export.

“Currently, US buyers are buying cocoa at $10 per kg for dry beans. »

The father of five said he intends to represent and defend indigenous rights.

He said SODELPA would restore the Fijian Affairs Act and remove the 33 decrees which he said had weakened iTaukei or indigenous land ownership.

“SODELPA and I particularly believe in the need for Fiji to emerge from its economic difficulties and its debt.

“We will implement our policies and create more revenue centers and a more robust tax system, such as the reintroduction of stamp duty with a special allowance or exemption for new owners.”

Ratu Osea said he is ready to represent the needs of his people.

“I want to be part of the new direction of change and I call on you to help make that change by voting for SODELPA and Tailevu to support my candidacy as I intend to represent you and your needs.”