October 20, 2016 8:11 am

Farmers urged to get into potato farming

To increase food and income security, the Ministry of Agriculture is working towards supporting farmers to venture into potato farming. Farmers in Balenabelo village, Nadroga are well known for potato agriculture, and a few farmers are now generating income from this venture. Agriculture Officer (Nadroga/Navosa), Makereta Rasuka said the Ministry was in the first phase […]

To increase food and income security, the Ministry of Agriculture is working towards supporting farmers to venture into potato farming.

Mr Jaweli Naluaikaba of Busa Settlement receives his cheque from Agriculture Officer Mrs Makereta Rasuka.
Mr Jaweli Naluaikaba of Busa Settlement receives his cheque from Agriculture Officer Mrs Makereta Rasuka.

Farmers in Balenabelo village, Nadroga are well known for potato agriculture, and a few farmers are now generating income from this venture.

Agriculture Officer (Nadroga/Navosa), Makereta Rasuka said the Ministry was in the first phase of harvesting potatoes and farmers were being encouraged to continue planting more potatoes.

“Through this initiative, the Ministry is trying to educate pioneer potato farmers to pass their knowledge to the younger generation to keep the commodity sustainable,” she said.

Mrs Rasuka said the farmers were able to harvest an average of 12 metric tonnes of potatoes.

“It took the producers three months to plant the potatoes, and now they can harvest their produce,” she said.

She said the Ministry bought the seeds at $1.30 per kilo which will be used in the next planting season.

A 38-year-old farmer, Jaweli Naluaikaba from Busa settlement produced the largest scale of potatoes amounting to 2.5 tonnes from which he earned more than $2000.

Mr Naluaikaba acknowledged the Fijian Government’s assistance especially on clearing the land which enabled him to harvest potatoes at this scale.