18th August 02:54 AM
Fiji-India Business Council requests govt to facilitate collaboration through FNU on developing hybrid fruits
By Anamika Singh
Tuesday 07/08/2018
Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu

The Fiji-India Business Council has requested the government to facilitate collaboration through the Fiji National University to develop hybrid fruits for export.

Fiji-India Business Council President Swani Maharaj made this request with Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu at the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Indian High Commission’s second business forum in Nadi.

Maharaj says India is a successful pioneer of hybrid varieties of crops to suit varied geo‑climatic areas and Fiji can tap into Indian expertise to develop small sized hybrids of local fruit trees.

He says this could be done through collaboration with FNU to develop hybrid mangos, guavas, pomegranate, which is very popular and has many health benefits.

Maharaj says this could create a niche market for export and is an added opportunity for commercial farmer graduates from FNU.

He has requested Seruiratu to facilitate this through the Fijian government.

Maharaj says the Fiji India Business Council also sees opportunity for Fiji to develop its own hybrid of ‘bale prawns' through assistance from India.

He says Malaysian prawns have large heads and less flesh compared to bale prawns.

Maharaj says this is a dream project and an important goal for 

Fiji-India Business Council to develop this hybrid variety economically to empower every iTaukei village in Fiji and enhance protein rich foods amongst those in the lowest economic rung.

Maharaj also says that duty on sarees, salwar kameez and other Indian wear and accessories is excessively high as the colonial administration’s negative targeting of Indian clothes has not been revisited.

He says FIBC will take this up with the government as it may be viewed as discriminatory.

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