Organic farmer’s conference underway in Labasa

June 19, 2024 12:07 pm

Empowering farmers to adopt organic farming practices on farms and backyard gardens is a key objective of the Organic Farmer Conference held in Labasa, coordinated by the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development.

FRIENDS Fiji Chief Executive Marica Rokovucago says this is an opportunity to bring in farmers from five districts in Macuata to share their strengths, issues, and challenges in regards to organic farming practices.

She says that bringing it to Labasa was prioritized since it is often neglected due to accessibility and connectivity combined with factors such as climate change, natural disasters, disease pandemics, and the alarming rate of NCDs, which burden the communities for basic survival.

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“So we see these conferences as a way of sharing their knowledge. We are aware that there is another term; they are using sustainable agricultural intensification principles, but the term sustainability, agricultural practices, is what we want to promote in this conference and have those experts share their knowledge on these practices.”

Rokovucago adds that another contributing challenge is the loss of traditional knowledge, which pushes new-age farmers to opt for commercial fertilizers and pesticides, and the lack of practical tools and solutions increases the shift towards inorganic farming.

Another part of the discussion was to provide participants with relevant information on certification processes and market opportunities.