Agriculture

New plant species to bolster Fiji’s food security

A new variety of plant species was released by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, European Union, Heritage Seeds International (Australia) Ciri, Sigatoka, Nadroga earlier this month. The Minister of Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu said that this new variety of species could help withstand harsh conditions and is suitable for the […]

Newsroom

December 26, 2016 8:47 am

A new variety of plant species was released by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, European Union, Heritage Seeds International (Australia) Ciri, Sigatoka, Nadroga earlier this month.

Minister for Agriculture (Blue) during the Official Release of the Mulato II.
Minister for Agriculture (Blue) during the Official Release of the Mulato II.

The Minister of Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu said that this new variety of species could help withstand harsh conditions and is suitable for the environment considered outside the normal range for many Brachiaria species which is well adapted to acid and neutral soils alike.

Minister Seruiratu said that this species could grow well under the dry condition with a high yield of up to 22.28 tonnes per hectare per year and has a high nutritional value of 17% crude protein under Fiji conditions.

While addressing guests at Khan’s Ranch farm, Minister Seruiratu said that this improved species which has been named ‘Mulato II’ will add to the range of native and improved pasture species available for livestock forage consumption in Fiji.

Minister Seruiratu said it is expected to lift the performance of ruminant livestock in Fiji through increased dry matter intake for higher meat and milk production.

“The Ministry of Agriculture plans to continue with expanding the establishment of the Mulato pasture species on Government stations and selected private farms, carry out awareness programs and conduct on-farm livestock performance trials as a way forward for this particular activity.

Minister Seruiratu however, added that there are challenges that the livestock subsector faces.

“These problems need an inclusive development framework requiring the inputs of both internal and external partners of Government to be addressed,” said Minister Seruiratu.

“We need to work together in developing resilient species of livestock, crops and pasture that can withstand changes in our climatic conditions both now and in the future.

“We need more collaborative work with our external partners that have the necessary expertise that can help us tackle the effects of climate change on agriculture production.”

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