The increase in the price of rice in the overseas market has impacted Fiji’s import costs.
Fiji Rice Limited Chair Raj Sharma says last year the rice import cost increased to close to $60 million, whereas in previous years it was between $40 and $50 million.
According to the World Bank’s Food Security Update, international rice prices surged in August last year, boosted by India’s export restrictions on various rice types.
Sharma says Fiji, like many other nations, is facing challenges associated with external factors.
However he adds the price of rice paddy has been raised, providing a significant boost to incentivize and support domestic rice cultivation.
“The prime minister, who is our line minister, has also increased the price of rice paddy, from $850 to $1,000 for our farmers, who will supply Fiji rice. So we encourage the farmers to plant because this is the maximum or historic price that has been offered by the government.”
He adds that farmers are a critical part in lowering Fiji’s rice import bill as well as other food import bills, while also helping drive up local food production and strengthen food security for every Fijian.