27 Jan 2012

Flood damage to Fiji food crops estimated to be US$3.2m

12:57 pm on 27 January 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture in Fiji says flood damage to food crops will incur about 3.2 million US dollars in rehabilitation costs.

Initial disaster assessments of the agriculture sector indicate about 55 percent of export crops will be affected by the flooding and 70 percent of other food crops for hotels and general consumption is expected to be damaged.

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Colonel Mason Smith says the majority of the export goods are destined for Australia and New Zealand.

"For our export commodities we're looking at papaya and in some areas our taro exports to the regional markets. With regards to food security, these are of course the vegetables, rice, root crops, pulses and other short-term vegetables that are cultivated by our small-holder farmers in the Western Division."

Colonel Mason Smith says detailed assessments of the damage will be made once the flood waters recede at remote farms.