Reddy Calls for Move Towards Organic Agriculture

October 13, 2022

Shifting towards more organic agriculture and introducing more sustainable agricultural practices for local farming systems remains a strategic priority for the Ministry of Agriculture.

This was shared by the Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy while addressing farming clusters of Vanua Levu during his two-day tour whereby he officially handed over portable rice mills and farming equipment to farmers in the North this week.

Hon. Reddy reiterated calls for a national movement towards adopting organic agriculture as he highlighted the effects of continuously depleting soil health from the excessive use of inorganic fertilizers and chemicals.

“We are asking farmers to go organic, we’ve got a major organic agenda and we want Fiji to become a fully organic agricultural-based farming system, it may time some time and will require some hard work and a change in thinking but we can.”

Minister Reddy shared that the island of Rotuma had been declared a fully organic island, with plans in place for Koro Island to become the second island to receive organic certification too.

“Bit by bit, we will come to the main lands, in both Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and declare these two islands as organic islands as well, but in order to get there, we need to do a lot of work,” said Minister Reddy.

“What I want you to know is this, after so many years of chemical use on the same piece of land, your soil’s healthy bacteria has become depleted and we need to restore it so we can maintain good production systems,” he added.

He stressed the introduction of organic agriculture into Fiji’s production system was the best option to ensure the sustainability of our natural resources, emphasizing the Ministry’s organic bacterium culture initiative as an integral component of this shift in focus. 

"The best news is that cultivation improves when compost is made using Bacterium culture and applied to the soil. It also permits the gradual release of nutrients from the soil, which the plants can eventually absorb," Minister Reddy said.

Hon. Reddy has urged individual farmers, groups of farmers, villages, settlements, and larger communities to begin making their own compost and to use the Bacterium culture to hasten and improve it.