ADRA Fiji assists farmers in wake of tourism boom

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Farmers with their cash payments in hand. (Source: FBC News)

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Fiji is providing dozens of farmers with cash payments as part of the Fiji government’s “Cash for Cultivation” program, intended to prepare the country for a future tourism boom.

On March 17, 52 farmers based in Ba received $FJ200 for every acre of land, and Rakiraki, Tavua and Sigatoka will receive theirs soon, bringing the total to 116 farmers assisted in the Western Division alone.

According to FBC News, ADRA Fiji director Iliapi Tuwai says that farmers from other divisions will also receive support.

The program is an initiative by the Agriculture Ministry to strengthen food security and agriculture recovery following tropical cyclones Yasa and Ana. In addition to cash assistance, agricultural kits will also be distributed.

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy said program is intended to incentivise farmers to focus on growing local produce, to meet demand of the tourism industry when the borders reopen.

“Once everyone is vaccinated . . . the likelihood of our borders opening up is very high. Then once our border opens, the tourism sector will start and there will be demand for vegetables,” he explained to Fiji Sun.

ADRA’s assistance is thanks to the Strengthening Early Recovery for Food Security and Livelihoods (SERFSAL) project funded by the New Zealand Aid Program.