$1million investment in rice production

Rice farmers in Dreketi plant rice. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI Rice Ltd will invest $1 million of its own funds in massive rice production and is looking at providing loans to rice farmers and those companies who intend to go into commercial rice farming.

Chairman of Fiji Rice Ltd, Copra Millers Fiji Ltd and Food Processors Fiji Ltd, Raj Sharma said details of this would be announced soon.

He added that Fiji Rice Ltd would continue to plant and mill its own and encouraged the farmers to plant rice.

Speaking on the COVID-19 Response Budget Mr Sharma said they highly appreciated the debt to equity conversion for Food Processors Fiji Ltd and Fiji Rice Ltd.

According to Mr Sharma, Food Processors Fiji Ltd, with debt to equity conversion, would immediately investment $0.150m on its Batiri farm with plants, machines and upgrade of the quarters etc.

“The company is looking at further investment to a tune of $1 million within this year to early next year, in plants and machine’s and factory upgrade, focusing to the food security.”

He said Food Processors Fiji Ltd at this stage was expected to export its normal consignment.

On the Copra Millers Fiji Ltd Mr Sharma said with impact of the COVID 19 on the export market and price reduction, the company was relooking at operational plans to be sustainable however with natural edible oil coming into the market by April this year, expected to bring in more buffers.

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