Fiji to boost local rice production

April 4, 2024 6:55 am

Rice has become a daily food in Fiji, with almost every household consuming it.

Minister for Agriculture Vatimi Rayalu says despite this, Fiji still imports a significant amount of rice, indicating room for improvement in local production.

Rayalu says in 2022, Fiji imported 37,000 tonnes of rice, worth $50.8 million, while only producing around 8,300 tonnes locally, with a self-sufficiency level of 20%.

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However, historical data shows that Fiji achieved a self-sufficiency level of around 66% in the 1980s, suggesting that further improvement is possible given the right conditions.

“It is good to note that 84% of rice farmers are interested in planting improved varieties developed by the Ministry’s Research Division, with bold grain variety being the preferred choice among farmers. Other improved varieties such as Star, Sitara, Cagivou, Deepak and Nuinui are also gaining popularity.”

While receiving a rice seeds dryer from the Chinese government, Rayalu highlights that according to the Fiji Rice Survey conducted by the

Ministry in 2023, there are 1,699 households involved in rice cultivation in Fiji, with the majority located in the northern division.

The Ministry of Agriculture received rice seeds dryer and trailing equipment from the Chinese government.

The rice-dry equipment and its shed is worth $364,000 and this will be installed for Chinese officials.