March 31, 2022

Picture: Nursery support package kit

The newly launched Nursery Support Package will help to set the platform to boost the production of crops for the local and export markets, regardless of crop seasonality.

While launching the Nursery Support Package at Lakena Agriculture Station in Nausori earlier this week, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy said it was Government's priority to ensure sustained production of crops to meet the demands of the market.

"We want to continue to boost production and exports, to do that, we want to give leverage to our farmers, our youth groups, our women’s groups and villagers (as a group) so that they can grow in seasons beyond the normal seasons through protected agriculture.

"Protected agriculture is either nursery, greenhouse or hydroponics and I want to announce that we want to give Nursery Support Packages to 600 individuals and 120 groups," said Minister Reddy.

"600 individuals who are selected, who’ve applied online, the online portal is ready and will be open for 2 weeks, will get a digging fork, knife, jerry can, sowing trays, 5kg Urea and 25m shylon cloths, their contribution will be timber and nail to construct the nursery," he elaborated.

"The 120 groups – each group, whether it is a youth group, women’s group or whether it is a village who will apply will get up to 10 digging forks, 10 knives, 10 jerry cans, 10 sowing trays, up to 25kg Urea and 50-metre shylon cloths. The groups will get a bigger quantity and shylon cloth to allow the group to construct bigger nurseries.

Minister Reddy said the nurseries would allow these recipients to grow seedlings, pot plants or vegetables and be able to sell them or supply them to the market of their choice, be it at the local market, tourism sector or the exporter or middlemen.

"In this way, we will be able to extend the growing season, we will be able to allow the farmer or his/her crop to withstand harsh conditions, allowing the farmers to protect that particular seedling or crop or lettuce of cabbage from pests and diseases.

"We’re opening up the applications from today (Tuesday 29.03.22) for two weeks and the selection will be completed at the end of the 3rd week. 600 applicants will get it regardless of your location, all you need to do is apply online and you can be assisted through this programme.

"So I urge all people in settlements, farmers, villages and the islands to apply for this online, if anyone has any difficulty applying online, please contact your nearest agriculture office or extension officer and they will fill it for you, they will enter your information and send it," he said.

The Nursery Support Package is only for Rural & Maritime Farmers and interested people can apply through this link:

The online portal will be available for the next 2 weeks. Applicants are advised to ensure their application is supported by valid ID cards & letters from their Turaga ni Koro, Advisory Councilor & Agriculture Officer confirming their ID.

The applications will close at 5 pm on Tuesday 11th April.