Rice farming in fiji lacks its full potential, says labasa business yogeshwar chand. He claimed that the rice industry has been affected by migration of farmers to urban areas because of land leases, lack of resources and import rice in order to meet local demands. Ninty per cent of fiji’s population likes to eat rice.
Mr Chand is the marketing manager for advance parts and spares limited, which sells hand tractors for rice farming.
The Indonesian embassy in Fiji haas been working with rice farmers through the use of hand tractors, also known as tillers “firs it came as an aid from the Indonesian government.” Said Mr Chand.
His company buys tractors form Indonesia after the Indonesia government donated 10 hand tractors on April 2004 to the Ministry of Agriculture to help rice farmers.
“It is very effective in terms of productivity and farm yields. Farmers who hand a chance to use it were over delighted by its strong performance. The hand tractor is rice farming prototype machine. It helps farmers in preparation of rice fields.”
We have sold 34 tractors in Dreketi and Bua areas,” saidMr Chand. Mr.Yad Ram, a rice farmer in Dreketi, pilled praises on the machine.
“Without the hand tractor I used to cultivate less than five acres per season. My yield has increased and work is easier now.” Said Mr Ram.
Chand’s company is working closely with Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji Development Bank and Micro Finance to promote rice self-sufficiency in Fiji. (Fiji Sun, Oct 23, 2009)