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Government helps rice farmers

May 31, 2014 8:21 pm

In a bid to reduce our import bill the Government is putting in the efforts to assist farmers increase their rice production in the Northern Division.

This was evident during a rice field day held at Wailevu in Labasa, where the Agriculture Ministry demonstrated the use of Rice Reaper, a machine used to harvest and thrash rice.

Speaking to the farmers, the ministry’s principal agriculture officer (Northern), John Cox said Government was committed to assisting farmers in the North and the ministry will ensure that all assistance is implemented effectively.

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He also said the ministry was promoting the ‘Star’ variety rice to farmers because of its high yield and short term maturation period. The ‘Star’ variety of rice matures in 90 days as compared to other varieties which take longer.

Mr Cox said the ministry will introduce other machines to assist rice farmers in the division.

The Northern Division is Fiji’s major rice growing area totaling about 1,900 hectares annually producing about 5,800 tonnes of paddy.

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