Budget allocation spurs agricultural growth

Listen to this article:

Ministry of Agriculture acting deputy secretary for operations department,Tekini Nakidakida makes a submission to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources at the Parliament complex in Suva on Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Ministry of Agriculture received its highest ever budget allocation of $96.8 million in the 2018/2019 financial year.

The allocation helped the ministry to increase outputs of major agricultural commodities that later sparked a 5.5 per cent increase in the sector’s contribution towards the national GDP.

This was shared by acting deputy secretary for the ministry’s operations department, Dr Tekini Nakidakida, while addressing the Standing Committee on Natural Resources yesterday.

Dr Nakidakida said this was the highest amount ever and an increase of 12 per cent from Financial Year 2017/2018.

“At the end of the financial year, 67 per cent ($64.7 million) of the total budget was utilised,” Dr Nakidakida said.

“With the $64.7 million utilised in this financial year, the non-sugarcane agriculture sector was able to increase contribution to national economy through the following areas.”

Dr Nakidakida said agriculture made an increased contribution towards the GDP, increasing from $597.2m in 2017/2018 to $630 million in 2018/2019.

“This was a growth of 5.5 per cent.

“The growth was mainly contributed by the significant increase in output of major commodities such as kava, taro, cassava, vegetables, pineapple, banana and papaya.”

The Standing Committee on Natural Resources was chaired by Opposition Leader Inia Seruiratu alongside Opposition member Joseph Nand, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Tomasi Tunabuna and Assistant Minister for Education Iliesa Vanawalu.

The discussions focused on the Ministry of Agriculture’s 2018/2019 annual report from the Agriculture Ministry committee.

Mr Seruiratu said the committee would reconvene discussions today, which will be aired live on the Parliament of Fiji’s Facebook page.