8 Mar 2011

Drop in price of Fiji taro is hurting farmers

10:30 am on 8 March 2011

The Agricultural Marketing Authority in Fiji says a drop in the price of taro exports is hurting farmers.

The Agricultural Marketing Authority says the price of taro, which is sold to New Zealand, Australia and the United States dropped in October last year and some farmers have been making losses ever since.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Ilaisa Cavu, says at its best, taro is sold at 62 US dollars for 30 kilograms but he says as of two weeks ago it was being sold at just under 30 Fiji dollars per 30 kilograms.

"The impact of that in Fiji is that the farm gate price of taro is sitting around 80 cents Fiji dollars per KG of A grade. With that sort of pricing, the farmers are feeling the impact greatly that they are actually producing at a loss."

Ilaisa Cavu says the Agricultural Marketing Authority is aiming to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders to set a minimum price for taro.