Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka today received a cheque of $USD 25,000 on behalf of the Fiji Government from His Excellency Dupito D. Simamora, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Fiji in support of the development of smallholder coffee farmers in the interior of Viti Levu.
The Ambassador presented the cheque on behalf of the Government of Indonesia.
Agriculture is an important development priority for Indonesia, Fiji, and the Pacific region.
As one of the largest coffee-producing countries, Indonesia is well-positioned to be a partner for Fiji in developing its coffee industry to meet its domestic demand, including serving its growing tourism industry.
The smallholder coffee project which was originally proposed by the Office of the Prime Minister of Fiji, seeks to equip approximately 10,000 residents from 41 villages in the Sigatoka region with the knowledge and skills needed for successful coffee planting and processing.
It is therefore, important to note that this project is also about empowering rural communities in Fiji through sustainable coffee cultivation.
As a follow-up to this handover, Indonesia and Fiji will further conduct consultations and training programs scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2024.
This program will provide further education and capacity building to the participants of the Bula Coffee project, ensuring the long-term sustainability and success of their coffee farming endeavours.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian Government for its support towards the project and the ongoing collaboration between the two countries.
“This grant from the Government of Indonesia is a significant step towards achieving our development goals. It will empower our rural communities, promote sustainable agriculture, including resilience from excessive imports, and contribute to poverty reduction in Fiji.”
In expressing his enthusiasm for the project, Ambassador Dupito D. Simamora stated, “Indonesia is pleased to support the smallholder coffee project, a project that empowers Fiji in the agriculture sector while at the same time advancing its rural development, food security, alternative development, and livelihood for the people at the grassroots”.
“This collaboration marks an important date in our bilateral relationship as both friendly countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations. Indonesia and Fiji are also expected to start the reconstruction of the Regional Training Center for Agriculture and Demonstration Farming in Rakiraki this year.”
“It is a very significant commitment where Indonesia will help boost agriculture resilience. It is also a case where both countries can partner to assist the region in attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2050 Strategy of the Blue Pacific Continent.”
The smallholder coffee project will be implemented by Bula Coffee Limited, a coffee processing business based in Sigatoka.