March 17, 2022

Picture: Farmer Laisiana  Nayasi receiving her offer letter from Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy.

The assistance delivered by the Ministry of Agriculture for women throughout the country has received praise from women farmers as it will boost their farming endeavours. 

For irrigation support system recipient Ms. Elenoa Daunivalu from Seaqaqa in Vanua Levu who plants assorted vegetables and root crops on her 9-acres farm in Sabeto, Nadi, the irrigation kits will have an immense impact on the production levels of members of her Tabusuka Women’s Farmers Cluster.

“I believe that the irrigation kits will contribute to the betterment of our cluster group and our farms, especially for our families and we feel now that we can more effectively contribute to the development of the sector,” she said. 

“I am so grateful to receive this assistance because it indicates to us the belief that Government has been placing on us farmers to contribute to the economy, thank you for believing in us farmers, and especially in us women farmers too, because we know we are valuable members of society,” said Ms. Daunivalu.

While for Ms. Laisiana Nayasi of Barotu village, Ra who received her offer letter for the procurement of small farming equipment in Barotu on 07th March 2022 said as a woman, the laborious tasks of manually tilling the land was a hard ask for her.

She is set to purchase her rotavators through the Small Farming Equipment programme for which she is greatly grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The rotavators are very useful for any farmer, especially for me as a woman farmer, because I have set out my plans for further expansion and this assistance of the rotavators will ensure that I can grow my farm even more. 

“It will greatly assist me because the work that usually takes weeks to complete will now be fast-tracked and I want to thank the Ministry of Agriculture for this assistance because the time I dedicate to my labour on the farm has been made easier and I look forward to using the machine on my farm,” said Ms. Nayasi.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sushma Lal of Tavarau, Ba who was part of the Tavarau Rice Farmers Cluster who received their portable rice mill on 08th March 2022 has urged her fellow women farmers, to diversify their crops and to consider growing rice for their consumption with the excess to be sold to Fiji Rice Limited. 

“I am glad to be part of the Tavarau cluster because we are fortunate enough to receive this portable rice mill, and I want to urge sugarcane farmers here in Ba to grow rice too for your consumption, I also challenge all women, come out of your comfort zones and plant, till the land, it is satisfying to watch what you plant grow,” she said.

“Government is doing a lot in helping us farmers, what is left for us to do our part and I am very pleased with all the support, technical advice and assistance we farmers are receiving because it will go a long way for us, thank you very much Agriculture Ministry,” said Mrs. Lal.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Policy for Gender in Agriculture in Fiji (2022-2027) was also launched on 08th March 2022 at the South Sea Orchids in Nadi, which proposes to address identified gaps in agriculture and incorporates actions related to farming, livestock, forestry or fisheries and will propose to institutionalize a gender mainstreaming strategy to realize better food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihoods, climate and disaster resilience and successful commercial agriculture both men and women in Fiji.