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Grant to benefit 10,000 farmers

Business, Local News, News | Published: 1 day ago | By Meri Radinibaravi

More than 10,000 Fijian farmers will now benefit from a $US25,000 ($F55,955) grant that the Indonesian government handed over to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka on Thursday.

Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Sakiasi Tubuna told The Fiji Times that the purpose of the grant was to help establish coffee farmers in the highlands of Viti Levu, particularly in the Sigatoka region.

“Government is looking at a more innovative approach to ensure that we substantially increase coffee production in the country, and the other aspect of it is we’re working with the private sector. Bula Coffee will be establishing these farms and at the same time, purchasing the matured beans from these farmers,” Mr Tubuna said.

“We’re looking at around 10,000 farmers, initially but we will be phasing out the approach all over (the) Keasi area, Nanoko, up in Nabutautau areas, all those villages will be involved in this project.”

Indonesia’s Ambassador to Fiji Dupito Darma Simamora said being one of the largest coffee-producing country in the world, Indonesia was well-positioned to be a partner for Fiji in developing its coffee industry.

“Indonesia is pleased to support the smallholder coffee project, a project that empowers Fiji in the agriculture sector while at the same time advancing its rural development, food security, alternative development, and livelihood for the people at the grassroot,” he said.

“This collaboration marks an important date in our bilateral relationship as both friendly countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations.”

The assistance is scheduled to reach identified farmers by next week, through Bula Coffee

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