October 5, 2020
Picture : Mr Parmen Singh inspects the eggplant seedlings (pritam variety) at his Nabitu Nursery.
A nursery that will cater to Sigatoka farmers along both sides of the Sigatoka River easing transport costs and ensuring convenience in terms of sourcing plant materials was commissioned by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy in Nabitu on Monday (5.10.20).
He applauded Nabitu farmer, Mr Parmen Singh for taking the initiative in constructing the nursery with assistance provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Mr Singh has supported us, by providing seedlings free to some farmers after Cyclone Harold and Winston.
“We really want to applaud him. I am optimistic that this nursery will give you a new hope that you will be able to receive planting materials, or seedlings at a very low cost,” he said.
The Hon. Minister said the seedlings given to commercial farmers was part of a scheme under the Ministry aimed at expanding Fiji’s agriculture base.
However, the only condition was for farmers to return the seedlings, cuttings, suckers, or seeds within three years so that the Ministry could assist other farmers who wanted to grow their agriculture business.
“This is the kind of support we have and I urge all of you to take advantage of it.
“This nursery is right here. We will negotiate with Mr Singh to reduce the price, so we can help you all and in return he will make money by selling the seedlings,” he said.
Mr Singh said he volunteered to construct the nursery because he saw the need with not only the farmers in the area but also farmers on the other side of the Sigatoka River especially after Cyclone Harold hit the country in April this year and destroyed their crops.
“I have already given more than 1000 trays of seedlings to farmers in Keiyasi. Before Harold, I had 700 trays but the cyclone damaged most of it and I managed to save 400.
“There are 92 farmers here in Nabitu, but along this road, there are over 1000 farmers. I am trying to help all farmers so that’s why I want to expand this nursery,” Mr Singh said.
He said he has already submitted his request to the Ministry.