Produce like carrots and celery will now be planted in the 125 acres of Nubu farms in Fiji. The project was official launched by the Prime Minister this week in Nadala Village in Ba.
Voreqe Bainimarama says the 42 farmers who will be farming in this land will also grow traditional Fijian staples like duruka and dalo. Bainimarama says last year alone, Fiji imported over $5.4 million worth of carrots and over $1.8 million worth of celery. He says these farmers are members of a fully-managed commercial farm as contracted farmers to Fiji Agro Marketing.
Each of them will be card-holding members of the Fiji National Provident Fund, and can access FNPF funds to better their children’s education, upgrade their homes and save for retirement. Fiji’s tourism operators are also being urged to look locally as often as possible for Fijian-grown produce, to give those they host a taste of the real Fiji and give our farmers a chance to earn more income.
Bainimarama says not all the food that guests want to eat is grown locally in commercial quantities. He says kitchen essentials like onions, garlic, carrots and celery are imported by hotel and restaurant managers but as a nation blessed with vast tracts of arable land, it doesn’t make sense for so many of Fiji’s tourism dollars to go off-shore for the purchase of produce that can and should be grown in Nadarivatu’s ideal climate.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that no matter what is happening overseas and how long this pandemic persists, the nation’s need for hard-working Fijian farmers will always remain.