The Agriculture Ministry has introduced a Young Farmers Business Incubation Scheme. This scheme is for youths engaged in commercial farming.
According to Agriculture Minister, Dr. Mahendra Reddy, “The new initiative will engage 100 youths aged between 20-30 years for intensive hands-on training over a three-year incubation period, with a focus on youths with land readily available for agricultural purposes and who are already engaged in farming.”
He added, “These youths will be required to produce for local and export markets as they will be guided towards farming as a business. We want all farmers to do well and get the maximum output from his farm, whether the farmer is planting pineapple, sugarcane, rice or livestock. We want the farmer to do well.”
The involvement of youth at an early stage was critical as they would benefit from the government’s investment in the initial stages of their farming venture, said Dr. Reddy.
The Agriculture Ministry also has initiatives to support all agricultural farmers in an effort to meet the local and export needs. Dr. Reddy also said that these youths will be required to produce for local and export markets as they will be guided towards farming as a business.
Interestingly, agriculture is the mainstay of Fiji's economy, and it contributes around 28% of the total employment directly and more indirectly.