August 24, 2016 10:11 am

Potato farming continues in Naitasiri

In an effort to alleviate poverty and increase food security in rural areas, the Ministry of Agriculture continues to encourage potato farming in the province of Naitasiri. The ministry’s senior agriculture officer (Naitasiri), Adriano Tabualevu, it is the third season of potato planting for the farmers in the province. TABUALEVU: “As of this year a […]

In an effort to alleviate poverty and increase food security in rural areas, the Ministry of Agriculture continues to encourage potato farming in the province of Naitasiri.

SAO Naitasiri Adriano Tabualevu (left) with farmer Mukesh of Muaniweni in Tausa. (DEPTFO)
SAO Naitasiri Adriano Tabualevu (left) with farmer Mukesh of Muaniweni in Tausa. (DEPTFO)

The ministry’s senior agriculture officer (Naitasiri), Adriano Tabualevu, it is the third season of potato planting for the farmers in the province.

TABUALEVU: “As of this year a total of seven farmers were given potato seeds to plant in two acres targeted for the province. Some of the major crops grown in the area are dalo, kumala and ginger but potato is new to them which is just an additional source of income to their family.”

Meanwhile, a 39-year-old farmer, Mukesh Deo of Muaniweni in Tausa alone planted one acre of potatoes which is 50 percent of the targeted area in Naitasiri.

DEO: “The soil in Tausa is fertile alluvial soil and we are optimistic to have a good yield.”

Mr Mukesh Deo in his Potato farm. (DEPTFO)
Mr Mukesh Deo in his Potato farm. (DEPTFO)

Mr Tabualevu said that this is the first time for Mukesh to plant potatoes which will also motivate other farmers with the high hope to increase the potato production for interested farmers in the province.

TABUALEVU: “Mukesh has been farming in Tausa for the last 20 years and currently he has 20,000 (2 hectares) dalo sucker on his farm, one acre of potatoes and he also plants ginger and kumala.”

Mr Deo was one of the few suppliers of kumala cuttings that supplied planting materials during the Tropical Cyclone Winston rehab period.

Mr Deo's dalo farm. (DEPTFO)
Mr Deo’s dalo farm. (DEPTFO)

He is also one of the few major suppliers of ginger seeds to the ministry under the 2016 Ginger Development Program and he is going to supply 30 metric tonnes of ginger before the end of this month.

Mr Tabualevu said the major problem faced by the farmers in Tausa is crossing the river for transporting produce to the market.