19 Dec 2016

Agricultural recovery knocked back by Fiji floods

6:02 pm on 19 December 2016

A farmers' union in Fiji says that heavy flooding will have a devastating effect on an already struggling agriculture sector.

Flooding in Fiji due to heavy rain

Flooding in Fiji due to heavy rain Photo: Fiji Village

Much of the western and central divisions have been affected by widespread flooding, which has damaged crops and infrastructure, and saw hundreds of people seek shelter in evacuation centres.

The general secretary of the National Farmers' Union, Mahendra Chaudhry, said the damage to crops has been substantial, particularly to root and vegetable plantations.

Mr Chaudhry said the problems were compounded by the fact that many farms had only just begun re-establishing themselves after they were devastated by Cyclone Winston ten months ago.

Flooding in Qauia village following heavy rain.

Flooding in Qauia village following heavy rain. Photo: Nancy Naqelevuki/Fiji Village

"Well of course lost incomes and there will be a shortage of vegetables and fruits and things like that, and of course because of that shortage the prices will be quite high. So it's going to be quite a struggle for them and people are still living in tents. It's not going to be a very good Christmas and New Year for them, I'm afraid," said Mahendra Chaudhry.

Mr Chaudhry said many farmers were likely to need substantial assistance.

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