19 Apr 2006

Fiji political party proposes cutting food imports by fifty per cent

10:33 am on 19 April 2006

Fiji's United People's Party is proposing to cut food imports by 50-percent and redirect the 90-million US dollars saved every year into the local agricultural economy.

The party leader, Mick Beddoes, says they believe Fiji can produce most of the food it imports, particularly for use in the tourism industry.

Mr Beddoes says apart from the 52-million US dollars from the Asian Development Bank for the alternative livelihood programme to cushion the effects of declining sugar prices and small amounts for dairy and sheep development, there is little else for agriculture.

He says cutting food imports and growing more locally would create thousands of new jobs.