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Ministry aims to reduce import bill on potatoes

 

Sep 19, 2016 01:01:46 PM

Ministry aims to reduce import bill on potatoes Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry is aiming to reduce its import bill on potatoes by five percent in 2018 and 15 percent by 2020.

This would be done under the Potato Research Development Program which was introduce by the Ministry in 2014.

Senior Research Officer Dr Tekini Nakidakida says farmers are now harvesting potatoes in the lower valley of Sigatoka and officials have witnessed the harvesting of potatoes that was planted in June this year.

Dr Nakidakida stated that the Ministry aims to secure high-quality planting material for the next planting season and plans to obtain 40 tonnes of local potato seeds from selected farms which will be used in March 2017 and seeds will be imported next year for planting in May and June.

He said the Ministry is buying the seeds for $1.30 per kilogram from farmers, which is double the gross margin price and its 30 cents more than the municipal market price of $1.00 per kilogram.

Dr Nakidakida urges farmers to take advantage of this price and help the Ministry by providing good quality tubers for the development of potato industry and advises farmers to harvest their crops with minimal damage to tubers, which can reduce the quality and storage life.

By Reginald Chandar

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