20 Oct 2016

Fiji farmers challenged to double share of GDP

11:48 am on 20 October 2016

A top Fiji diplomat has challenged the agriculture industry to double its output and chase down the tourism industry's share of Fiji's Gross Domestic Product.

Fiji's High Commissioner to New Zealand Filimone Waqabaca

Fiji's High Commissioner to New Zealand Filimone Waqabaca Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

Fiji's High Commissioner to New Zealand Filimone Waqabaca told Fijian exporters and their import partners in Auckland yesterday that they need to address a growing trade imbalance with New Zealand.

He said trade is Fiji's achilles heel, and although Fiji rootcrops make up 60 percent of New Zealand's rootcrop imports, Fiji only has a 1.4 percent share in the fruit imports, and a growing 6.5 percent share in ginger.

Mr Waqabaca said agriculture can double its share of GDP and the New Zealand market is there for the taking.

"We did it before and we can go back to that level of 20 plus contribution towards our GDP. And when we're talking about opportunities this is it, this is our market share, someone else's market share is bigger. That is the opportunity, grab it from them," he said.