Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific

EU Ambassador Commissions Drasa Model Farm with Minister Reddy

06/10/2021 - 05:46
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The European Union (EU) Ambassador for the Pacific and to Fiji, His Excellency Sujiro Seam joined Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy in Drasa, Lautoka today to commission the EU-funded Drasa Johnson Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative Model Farm.

The EU support has been provided through a project entitled “Building Community Resilience to Climate Change through Civil Society Action”, implemented by Dialogue Fiji in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment. The project has enabled the Drasa model farm to set up a Hydroponic system, a Drip Irrigation system and a small nursery. These have assisted farmers with continuous production during dry weather, minimize water wastage and maintain production at optimum level. They have also generated their own seedlings on time during the main season and reduced the cost of procuring seedlings from private nurseries. 

“The EU support to the Drasa Cooperative Model Farm is aligned with the Agriculture’s Strategic Development Plan of the Government of Fiji, which aims at boosting food security and nutrition, diversifying the production of assorted fruits and vegetables, increasing farmers’ household incomes, improving commercial agriculture as well as modernising agriculture and supporting climate-smart agricultural methods.

These priorities are consistent with the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy. They contribute to the transition towards more sustainable and resilient food systems, by reducing their environmental footprint while promoting more sustainable and healthy diets. The Drasa Cooperative Model Farm showcases setups and enables practical training for farmers using smart agriculture techniques, which have become necessary in the face of climate change”, Ambassador Seam said while delivering his keynote address in Drasa.

He added that “strengthening adaptation capacities of vulnerable communities as they grapple with the impacts of climate change on soil quality, rainfall, weather patterns and pest infestation is the focus of the Building Community Resilience to Climate Change through Civil Society Action. The Drasa Cooperative Model Farm is a success story of the partnership between the EU, Government and Non-Governmental Organisations”.

The ten members of the Drasa model farm are now actively involved in assorted vegetable farming all year round. Currently, the cooperative continues to supply the Lautoka market and has contractual agreements signed with agro-marketing companies, middlemen and hotels. The cooperative produces assorted fruits and vegetables.

The three-year ‘Building Community Resilience to Climate Change through Civil Society’ project has a budget of 680,000 (nearly FJD 1.7 million). It is funded by the EU and implemented by a consortium of local civil society organisations including Rotary Pacific Water for Life Foundation, Dialogue Fiji and Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding, which collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment.

(ENDS)

For further information, contact: EU Press & Information Officer, Mohammed Nazeem KASIM in Suva, Fiji  on email: Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu (link sends e-mail) or delegation-fiji@eeas.europa.eu (link sends e-mail)

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