28 Mar 2017

NFP says Fiji govt must rehabilitate dairy farming

7:44 am on 28 March 2017

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party says the country's dairy industry is in serious decline and the government must take action.

In a restructure under the previous military led regime, Fiji Dairy Ltd, was given control over the industry when it was allowed to take over the farmerss' co-operative, Rewa Milk.

But the NFP's leader, Dr Biman Prasad, said the company shows little interest in fostering the local industry and is happy to import milk, on which it is not required to pay the normal 32 percent duty, while paying local farmers much less than they need for economic survival.

Dr Prasad said the NFP wants a review of the decree that granted privately owned Fiji Dairy these concessions and a rehabilitation package for the farmers.

"To address many of the challenges such as diseases, pasture control and improvement, but more importantly the price that the farmers are getting now is not commensurate with their costs and therefore is a disincentive for the farmers to continue to engage in dairy farming," he said.