Ginger exporters have urged farmers to consider the costs incurred and the resources used to ensure their product remains competitive in the international market.
Most farmers in Naitasiri are requesting an increase in the price of ginger from the current $2.60 per kilo.
Fresh Pack Ginger Fiji Limited Field Operations Manager, Satish Kumar, says the increase in the price of ginger will be a challenge for local buyers since Fiji is still coming out of a pandemic.
“Last year we increased the price and the farmers should be happy with that price because it was $2 to $2.20 for the last five to six years, and last year the price went to $2.60. That’s a big jump for that. We are also helping them to collect the ginger from their farms; we used to buy it at the Agriculture Research Station in Lomaivuna and let them not pay and take it to Lami or Laucala Beach. “
Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says it’ll be great for the company to open its factories to these farmers so they can witness first-hand the sacrifices and hard work rendered by local suppliers.
Meanwhile, Fresh Pack Ginger Ltd and Kaiming Agro Processing have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Fiji Development Bank’s Ginger Loan Facility.
Fiji Development Bank Chief Executive, Saud Minam, says they’ve given out at least $1 million worth of loans, especially for the ginger facilities last year.
“We can afford to provide such a low-interest rate to our farmers and continue to operate in a highly competitive environment, which allows the farmers to borrow the money at a low cost and produce some good stuff for themselves as well as for the economy.”
This financing support must be used for clearing of land, increasing the capacity of existing farmers, meeting labor and transportation costs, and purchase of seedlings for new farmers, among others.