15 Oct 2010

No expansion of tobacco farming planned in Fiji

9:34 am on 15 October 2010

Fiji's Agriculture Department says it is in favour of maintaining the current level of tobacco growing while experimenting with alternative crops.

Tobacco industry stakeholders discussed alternatives to tobacco growing during a consultative World Health Organisation meeting in Sigatoka last week.

The Permanent Secretary, Colonel Mason Smith, was quoted by the Fijivillage website as saying that the tobacco industry was to be expanded but his deputy, Suliasi Tawake, says he is unaware of any such policy.

"We'll maintain the tobacco industry in Fiji for the farmers because it is a source of their livelihood, but at the same time we are promoting alternative activities, alternative crops, which currently the farmers are doing to some extent. We are probably trying to maybe to expand in that area."

The Deputy Secretary for Agriculture Development in Fiji Suliasi Tawake.