The government initiatives and the increased rice paddy price has set the stage for a significant recovery for the rice industry after facing challenges in the previous season.
Fiji Rice Limited Chair, Raj Sharma, says they had experienced a downturn in rice production last season due to various factors, including farmers opting not to plant, unfavorable weather conditions, and the spread of diseases.
However, Sharma says the government initiatives and the increase in rice paddy prices indicate a positive outlook for the industry.
He adds that the reactivation of the rice task force has helped, and they anticipate the production to go back to an increasing trend in April and May.
“This is a planting season from December to January, and February is a planting season. December had been a bit laid-back because of the dry weather conditions. But now, with the rain throughout the country, we expect the farmers who have prepared their land to plant.”
The government has allocated a special grant of $150,000 to support Fiji Rice.
Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture has earmarked funds for land preparation, highlighting its commitment to bolstering the agricultural landscape.
The revised price for grade one has also increased from $850 to $1000 per tonne, whereas grade two has increased from $750 to $800.