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Local consumption limits exports

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Jan. 31, 2011) – Local farmers are not able to meet the high demand for freshwater prawns both locally and internationally.

Local production can only yield 100 tonnes from the 600 tonnes of local demand preventing them from exporting overseas.

Assistant manager for Dairy Farms Fiji freshwater prawn farm at Navua, Jone Varawa said there was a need for locals to venture into prawn farming.

"Fiji is importing freshwater prawns because we're unable to meet the local demands," Mr Varawa said.

Dairy Farms Fiji is the largest freshwater aquaculture facility in Fiji and the South Pacific and can only produce 24 tonnes per annum with a projected income of $250,000.

"Our main market is Freshet but there are a lot of markets out there for freshwater prawns but we are just behind with the production," Mr Varawa said.

"I believe there is a need to venture out into this business and Government should see to this because of the demand."

He said they are always there to give advice to farmers who wish to start their own farms.

The Dairy Farm of Fiji prawn farm is managed by the Institute of Marine Resources (IMR) of the University of the South Pacific which provides technical and intellectual assistance.

The aquaculture facility was part of the State's Viti Corp farm but is now leased to DFF with the prawn farm established in October 2005.


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