Fiji eyes rice self-sufficiency with China's help: report

Updated: November 28, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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HONGKONG, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The South Pacific nation of Fiji is embarking on a mission to achieve rice self-sufficiency within the next two decades, a goal that may be attainable with Chinese assistance, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Monday.

Fiji's new-found enthusiasm for growing rice was precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic that caused supply-chain disruptions, making it clear that depending on staple grains imports presents a food security threat, said the Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper.

"China's rice development assistance to Fiji aims to overcome these challenges by utilizing new high-breed seeds and technology-driven rice farming techniques," the report said.

Since January 2015, China has helped rejuvenate five local rice varieties in Fiji and introduced 16 Chinese rice varieties, it said. In addition, China has also trained more than 4,000 local agricultural officials and farmers.

The mechanized rice cultivation methods will help transform Fiji's agricultural industry into a technology-driven sector, and thereby encourage more young Fijians to take up farming, the report said, citing Chinese agri-technician Chen Huazao.

"Use of high-yield and high-quality rice varieties, through scientific cultivation management measures, can achieve high-yield rice cultivation, so that more Fijian rice farmers can benefit from it," Chen was quoted as saying.

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia