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Focus to reduce import bill on fresh produce

January 10, 2022 12:05 pm

Fiji has the potential to reduce its fresh produce import bill by $24.1 million says Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy.

Dr Reddy says they are now focusing on resources to help grow specific high potential items locally.

He says more than $38 million is spent on importing fresh produce annually.

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“In 2017 a study on fresh produce demand from Fiji hotels and resorts by IFC World Bank Group reported that 52 percent of the demand for fresh produce from Fiji’s main tourism areas is met by imported items such as meat, seafood, dairy products, and vegetables.”

Dr Reddy adds the Ministry is now focusing on increasing the value of tourism earnings.

“The focus now will be on how to increase the value of tourism earnings by reducing leakages and increasing the share of visitor spending retained in the country. This could be achieved through strengthening the linkage between farmers and agri-tourism initiatives.”

Through a new program, the Ministry will now establish links between hotels and farmers to increase the supply of local fresh produce.

The Ministry will work closely with identified clusters of farmers, groups and co-operatives to supply fresh and value-added commodities to resorts and hotels.

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