Commercial rice farming in Vanua Levu has increased tenfold since the beginning of the year.
Minister for Agriculture, Doctor Mahendra Reddy says this is a commendable achievement, as Fiji has the potential to be self-sufficient in rice-farming.
During the handover of a new rice mill to farmers in Saru, Lautoka today, Dr Reddy says the ministry will continue to encourage vegetable, dalo and cane farmers to try and venture into small-scale rice farming.
He says he has been impressed with the response received so far from farming communities around the country.
Fiji imports $44 million of rice annually from countries such as Vietnam, China and India.
He says given that most Fijian households consume rice, it was ideal for farmers to begin planting the staple.