26 Jan 2005

Fiji seeks ADB loan for commercial agriculture

11:22 am on 26 January 2005

Fiji is seeking a 56-million US dollar loan from the Asian Development Bank to develop commercial agriculture in rural areas.

The Alternative Livelihood Programme is aimed at increasing farmers' incomes through diversification from sugar to higher value commercial crops.

It will also supplement rehabilitation of cane crops, particularly for new cane farmers, most of whom are indigenous landowners entering farming on the expiry of leases held by previous tenants.

A government team will travel to Manila next week to negotiate the loan from the Asian Development Bank, with the first tranche of 5-million dollars to start off the project this year expected this year.