Agriculture’s Contribution To Fiji Economy Drops

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Agriculture’s Contribution To Fiji Economy Drops Once 25% of GDP, sector declined to 12% in 2012

By Repeka Nasiko

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 19, 2015) – Agriculture still plays a major role in sustaining rural dwellers, which is why the Agriculture Ministry hopes to increase efforts to improve the ailing industry.

While opening the 30th Executive Committee Meeting for the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in Nadi, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Inia Seruiratu said although the annual GDP share for agriculture had fallen, it continued to support a good majority of the country's rural population.

"Its contribution has declined from as high as 25 per cent in the pre-1987 period to around 12 per cent in 2012," he said.

"Agriculture in Fiji is largely dominated by sugarcane farming although a range of marine and forestry products together with fruits, vegetables, livestock and minerals are cultivated or produced and exported from Fiji."

He said some signs of improvements were visible in the past few years, but more work would be carried out to further boost the sector.

"Recently commercial agriculture in the non-sugar sector has been increasing and my ministry is working hard to take the sector back to the pre-1987 levels and higher.

"Government remains committed to addressing poverty and income inequality in Fiji."

He said the improvement of the sector would mean addressing poverty related issues.

"While agriculture continues to support rural activity, income and livelihoods, the majority of all rural dwellers fall under the poverty line or are in the vulnerable fringes of poverty."

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