Over 200 Farmers in Ba Sign Up With Ama

October 16, 2020

Picture : Minister for Agriculture Waterways and Environment the Hon  Dr Mahendra Reddy with farmers after signing the contract in Ba.

The contract signing of more than 200 farmers in Ba with the Fiji Agro Marketing Authority, illustrates Government’s move towards promoting commercial agriculture.

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy said the objective of commercial agriculture was to grow for the market rather than growing for consumption and the surplus then sold to the market.

The Minister informed the farmers who attended the signing recently (7.10.20) that there were three types of commercial agriculture models.

“The first model was those commercial farmers that grew the crop, processed, and exported it.

“The second model, involves growing, harvesting or processing the crop, exporting it and contract farmers as well to secure supply and volume.

“The third model of which AMA follows, is where farmers are contracted to plant a particular crop. AMA then buys these crops,” he said.

Dr Reddy said when farmers signed the contract with AMA it did one of two things; guaranteed the price the crop would be sold for; and secondly, it guaranteed a market for farmers.

“With this contract, the day you sign you know the price. That’s the base price.

“With that price you can plan your production, plan your cost scenario; you can do the entire production planning.

“That’s the notion of contract farming; it guarantees you a market,” he said.

The Hon. Minister also announced that he had come to an agreement with the CEO of AMA, Mr Alvin Sharma.

“I spoke to Mr Sharma and if he finds there was a good period, then AMA will top up on the contracted base price, a special bonus price. But it is only temporary and will depend on the market situation,” he said.

He said this was the assurance that AMA was giving to farmers that all commodities contracted for would be bought at a certain price for the next three years.

“Over time, we want to continue to expand and develop the market.”