29 May 2008

Fiji business operators call for promotion of agriculture to help with soaring food costs

7:50 pm on 29 May 2008

Fiji's chamber of commerce says the government needs to encourage agriculture to alleviate the pressure of rising food and fuel prices.

The interim Minister of Finance, Mahendra Chaudhry, has launched a taskforce to look at the impact of increases in the prices of fuel and food.

The chamber's president, Swani Maharaj, says Fiji has a lot of spare land, and previous governments have not encouraged agriculture.

He says Fiji is too dependent on imported food, and the Government should introduce incentives to grow rice and dairy products.

"I'm surprised we haven't ventured into that. we have depended too much on sugar, and tourism. It's time that the government needs to look at growing more food. There's too much land lying idle, and too many lazy people."

Fiji's chamber of commerce president, Swani Maharaj.