Critical staff shortage a concern: Rayalu

March 23, 2024 7:27 am

The Ministry of Agriculture continues to struggle with shortages of soil scientists and veterinarians.

Minister Vatimi Rayalu says these shortages have been there for some time.

The Minister says they are now working on plans to identify potential candidates for soil science training.

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Rayalu also revealed ongoing collaborations with countries like the Netherlands to revive past partnerships in agricultural education and research.

He also acknowledges the challenge of retaining qualified professionals, particularly veterinarians, due to salary disparities with overseas opportunities.

“And we have taken a number of years to have them trained and become qualified vets under Fijian government funds and Fijian government scholarships, only to lose them simply because we cannot offer them the kind of salary that they demand.”

The ministry adds that discussions are underway with the Fiji National University to explore avenues for addressing this shortage domestically.