Picture: Practical for dalo farmers on organic fertilizers.
A two-day training to boost the capabilities and knowledge of dalo
farmers from Namosi was recently conducted to improve dalo production from the
province and to meet market demands.
The training conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Farm
Management section for the four districts of Naqarawai, Veinuqa, Namosi and
Wainikoroiluva in Namosi was held at Wainimakutu Village last week and included
segments on practicing sustainable farming methods to consistently deliver for
Consequently, the Namosi province contributes 40% of the total
dalo production in Fiji with farmers supplying to local exporters.
Speaking to the training participants, Commissioner for the
Central Division Mr Joseva Navuku encouraged them to take raise and develop
their farms towards the commercial level for the benefit of their livelihoods
“Your efforts are highlighted in the dalo production statistics
for the Central Division and to a larger extent, in the country’s GDP which is
commendable and for that, we thank you for your hard work and dedication.”
“As Dalo is the main earning commodity for this province, it is
also motivating to see the assets and the quality of life here in the province
which is a testament to your production levels and purchases made from dalo
farming; and to those that are coming up, set targets and remain committed to
achieving it for the betterment of your family’s livelihood,” he said.
Mr Navuku also reiterated to farmers the need to take heed of
technical advice to increase their production levels and to also be mindful of
sustainable land management practices.
“The country is experiencing changes in weather and climate
patterns and this training and the information shared with you during the
training will help you to better your production yields and improve in-field
“Tonnes of dalo is harvested here weekly and the possibility of
moving to feed local and overseas markets is high if you work smart and work
Additionally, Commissioner Navuku said in order to protect the
ecosystem of Namosi, the need to farm responsibly to avoid the loss of the
richness and fertility of the land was vital.
Training facilitator, Agriculture Officer (Farm Management) Ms
Lusiana Tumaitoga said the training was part of the Dalo Development Programme
and was intended to boost dalo production.
“The training by the Ministry of Agriculture looks at areas such
as farming as a business, agronomy practices of dalo, soil pH level testing,
dalo pest and disease control and sustainable land management,” she said.
“These farmers supply to exporters and it is vital that they are
constantly refreshed on the market demand, sizes and prices and farming
techniques to meet those demands and supply.”
Mata-ni-Tikina (Namosi) Petero Leveni said as a dalo farmer, the
traditional knowledge and farming tactics that they grew up with was what they
had always practiced but the training was a welcome one as it introduced new
convenient farming techniques.
“I want to thank the Ministry of Agriculture for bringing this
dalo training to our farmers here in Namosi, we were comfortable continuing to
plant dalo through the traditional methods and who would have also considered
bringing the training to us because we have planted dalo our whole lives,
however, I am glad to be part of the training because it has taught me a lot of
new and worthwhile lessons regarding dalo farming,” said Mr Leveni.
Similar dalo training will also be held for farmers in other parts
of the Central and Eastern Divisions.