Fijian exports of fresh and chilled agricultural products topped $ 100 million in 2020, Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said.
During a three-day visit to Taveuni recently, he said this was an indication of the continued growth of the agricultural sector.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Reddy met with farmers and community members from Somosomo district, Welagi village, Qila settlement, Delaivuna settlement and Wainikeli district to discuss and share the development plans in place at the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We have a promising future in agriculture and we are expanding our presence in the foreign market. Last year, our exports of fresh and chilled products increased by 14% in volume and 26% in value, ”he said.
“For the first time last year we passed the $ 100 million mark, in terms of our exports and often they would compare and say that non-sugar agricultural exports were lower than sugar exports, we are now gradually overtaking sugar exports and I’m happy because you’ve all been involved in this.
“This year, in the first six months, we had already passed the $ 50 million mark in terms of exports and we plan to further increase the exports of our agricultural products, there is enormous potential in the sector.”
Dr Reddy said the agricultural sector will continue to be the backbone of the Fijian economy and that the pandemic has further reinforced this fact, because when entire industries closed, agricultural products continued to be exported.
“Despite these challenges, we still managed to increase agricultural exports and generate much needed foreign exchange and it is for this reason that we are working to continuously increase the production of our agricultural products.
“Following the pandemic of the past few months, we have seen a movement back to rural areas and the pandemic has again revealed that we have a strategic advantage as the agricultural sector is where we have total control of our destiny. . “