The Fijian Government is unyielding in its fundamental primary objective of improving food security, which remains a high priority in its strategic agenda.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Waterways, Environment and Agriculture Dr. Mahendra Reddy emphasising that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought thousands of Fijians to the agricultural sector.

Minister Reddy said the agriculture sector has played an important role in food and income security during the pandemic since 2020, and the Ministry of Waterways has contributed to this with their massive drainage works.

“As you all know, we are in an extremely challenging era. The pandemic is also disrupting people’s food environment and is already resulting in food security scares across various countries.

“Therefore, to strengthen the agriculture sector, the drainage works under the Drainage for Farm Support Program will help increase food production at grassroot level,” he said.

To further validate this, the Ministry of Waterways under its “Drainage for Farm Support Program” has continued to assist Fijians in rural areas for resilient food and income security.

As a result of the recently completed drainage works at Yavusania village in Nadi, over 400 villagers will be able to boost their agricultural production and improve their food security.

The Turaga-ni-koro, Mr. Mano Kagi said farming is the major source of income for the villagers which they heavily rely on.

“Various adverse weather events have affected the yield of crops in the village due to drainage issues,” he said.

“Thanks to the timely assistance from the Ministry of Waterways for drainage works, crop losses were avoided during the wet season,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Kagi reiterated that the completion of drainage works would enable farmers to resume farming without fear of flooding.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Waterways has de-silted and constructed drains to protect the village from flooding which assists in improving agricultural production.