Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Fiji Budget announcement on Agriculture, Fisheries, Forests and ICT

Happy New Year Everyone!

So we started of the new year with GREAT NEWS for our youths as Fiji PM and Minister for Finance Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama presented the 2013 Budget.


Fiji budget announcement on Agriculture

Major initiatives to encourage our young people to become farmers. We will set up a scholarship program in conjunction with Fiji National University in which 50 Form Six or Seven graduates each year will attend a 12 month certificate course that trains them in various agricultural disciplines. When they graduate, each student will receive a loan package to the value of $70,000, to cover the costs of:
100 acres of farm land

  • A tractor and basic farm implements
  • Fertilizer and other materials
  • A house and shed
  • And start-up cash of $2,000

Each student will be supervised by an agricultural extension officer, and given specific performance targets. The Government hopes to attract many more young people to become farmers, give them sustainable livelihoods, boost the nation’s food security, and reduce Fiji’s dependence on imported food.
Collectively, $94 million is allocated to the Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forests and Lands & Mineral Resources in 2013.

Agriculture is a vital sector of our economy, and we especially need to do what we can to help our nation’s farmers maintain a productive and efficient agricultural sector.
Existing programs under the Department of Agriculture will continue next year with total funding of $5.6 million.  This money will cover the development of coconut, cocoa, potato, ginger, vanilla and rice crops.  We will further boost the rice revitalization program with technical and financial assistance from the Chinese Government.

To do their jobs, farmers need cheaper tools. In 2013, we are expanding the zero-duty rate for agricultural implements to make them more affordable. All other current agricultural incentives will continue.

An additional $2.7 million will also be allocated for livestock development.

$1 million will be allocated for the development of the dairy industry.

In the fisheries sector, we have provided $1.8 million for the development of various fisheries resources such as aqua-culture, mari-culture and the raising of brackish water species, as well as seaweed and pearl cultivation.

We are providing $600,000 to establish a multi-species hatchery in Ra.
In forestry, we will promote sustainable forest management practices by allocating $500,000 for the Biodiversity Enhancement and REDD Plus programs.

$5 million is also allocated for the Land Reform Program, to make more land available for productive use.
We will also continue the highly successful CBUL program that encourages landowners to re-lease land for productive use. Under this program, Government subsidises lease payments by 4 per cent. This increases lease payments from 6 to 10 per cent.

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