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August 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) today granted Fiji an approval to export fresh ginger rhizomes to Australia under specific biosecurity conditions.

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji chief executive Elvis Silvestrini said this is a major feat for Fiji as we had been waiting for this moment for many years.

Also present at the announcement was Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali and Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Ropate Ligairi.

PS for Agriculture, Mr Ligairi said, “Fiji ginger is the best in the world and the demand is really high because of its high quality, low fibre content and spectacular taste.”

He also added, that this year the government has allocated a total of $100,000 for ginger development where 30 farmers would be assisted with infrastructure, mechanization and support service, production incentives and farmer training.

Fiji is currently exporting more than 830,000kg of ginger worth about $6million annually and this additional market is certainly expected to boost the export volume further providing a significant trade benefit.

“The Australian authorities have identified pests of concern and we need to work with the farmers on that,” Silvestrini said.

“Together with PHAMA, we are developing a handbook and in-field training programs that will assist farmers and exporters meet conditions set by the Australian authorities,” Silvestrini added.

The first consignment of the Fijian ginger to Australia is expected to leave the country before the end of 2012.

By Indrani Krishna

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