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Fiji Ag Minister, Inia Seruiratu:
Fiji Ag Minister calls to lower veg imports and boost local production
While Fiji exports a lot of local vegetables, imports of high value vegetables are a concern.
The country’s food import bill over the last five years show an average spending of around seven hundred and seventy-eight million dollars.
The Agriculture Minister, Inia Seruiratu says the value of the food import bill is too high given that a majority of commodities imported can be produced locally.
Seruiratu is adamant the country’s crop sector and livestock strategies will close the import gap in the next five years.
“Most of the local vegetables out of the Sigatoka Valley are exported. This is particularly for specific market segments. Mostly, it’s the Asians, the Africans who are consuming these products and they are used to this… but on the other hand when you compare that to what’s imported, it’s the high value vegetables that are imported, which is based on the preferences of various of our other customers.”
Seruiratu says Fiji imports a lot of capsicum, celery, cucumbers, lettuce.
He says these are based on the consumption patterns of our tourism market and various supermarkets.
Publication date: 9/11/2017
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