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Monday, July 17, 2006

State will assist in pineapple effort

The Government will provide assistance to farmers in the Northern Division who want to plant off-season pineapple for local and overseas markets.

While a few farmers in the Division have started experimenting with the help of Ministry of Agriculture officials, others have been encouraged to utilise their land well.

The agriculture officer for Macuata Province said there was a huge potential for growing pineapples in Vanua Levu due to the availability of land and manpower. He said the soil type and climate in Macuata was favourable for growing pineapples.

Pineapples were currently grown in at least 130 farms in Macuata West and part of Bua at Nasarawaqa.

Pineapple is one of the good commodities under the Alternative Livelihood Project programmes for which marketing strategies are streamlined for local and export markets.

Recently a New Zealand investor showed interest in venturing into marketing of Fiji pineapples. The investor has already made several visits to Seaqaqa Research Station to see the different varieties that can be grown from suitable ways of marketing pineapples either as fresh, pouched, peeled or vacuum packed.

The Agriculture Marketing Authority is also looking into the possibility of buying pineapples from Vanua Levu during the main season.

The Ministry of Agriculture's assistance is through providing seeds, small farming implements and advice to farmers who wanted to start afresh on barren land.

Note from GV : Small and medium business owners can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, to prepare business plans and to facilitate business loans for them. We can also facilitate all necessary licences, permits and approvals required for setting up. Our principal is also an Investment Adviser licensed by the Capital Markets Development Authority (of Fiji) and can provide investment advice to individuals or groups. Our contacts are : telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

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