NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad [left] and Employment Minister Praveen Kumar [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]
A motion by the National Federation Party for the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs to assess the impact of the government’s direct assistance initiatives for farmers has been described as an election gimmick.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad today called for an inquiry into the agriculture sector.
“The problem Mr. Speaker we have under this government is that it never wants to hear the bad news that’s why they oppose all independent inquiries and motions that we bring. It only wants to tell everyone how much money it is spending that’s a big question but whether that spending is effective or not.”
Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says the government will keep diversifying and not rely on any one sector, but support for agriculture will not stop.
“After breaking records in 2020, agriculture exports rose to a further $123 million in 2021. Fiji had also witnessed significant growth in the export of kava, ginger, and turmeric among other spices in the past two years.”
Employment Minister Praveen Kumar questioned the NFP’s motives behind the motion.
“It is just another desperate and pathetic attempt to appear relevant and concerned about the farmers farming and agriculture with elections around the corner.”
Debate continues this afternoon.