In the spirit of adding value to Fijian agro-businesses, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (Ministry), partnered with the Nabonu Land Purchase Co-operative in successfully acquiring a tractor.
This assistance aligns to the Fijian Government’s roadmap, working alongside community-based businesses under the Integrated Human Resource Development Programme (IHRDP) in combining resources to generate income and employment.
“Building back better from COVID-19 needs investment. We need to consolidate efforts to channel resources in a more impactful way. We need to foster more meaningful partnership with those who our policies are targeted to,” said the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya.
“The most effective way to empower rural communities -- socially and economically -- is to identify what they can do best first. By supporting and empowering Fijians through the IHRDP and Department of Co-operative Business, we are making it possible for communities to have food security and become more active contributors in society”, added Minister Koya.
The tractor will help improve farm production by way of mechanisation, minimising the arduous task of land preparation, increasing efficiency and land coverage for cultivation.
“The ultimate aim of the co-operative, through this assistance, is to increase production, produce a variety of crops with an abundance of yield and earn more income”, said Chairman of the Co-operative, Mr. Jagdish Narayan.
“With larger volumes of agricultural produce, we aim to go beyond farming, and embrace processing, packaging and value adding products, which can become the co-operatives footsteps in exporting products from Vanua Levu to international market shelves”, Mr. Narayan further added.
Valued at a total cost of $53,020, the project was cost shared by the co-operative, through a contribution of $13,255.
Nabonu Land Purchase Co-operative possesses 304 acres of land, with a total of 17 members who combined their titles in support of their livelihoods and increasing the better utilisation of their land.