Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka presided over the World Food Day celebration today, coinciding with the launch of the Agriculture Show at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.
The Agriculture Show serves as a platform for farmers to present their crops and yields through carefully arranged exhibits.
The event’s core objectives revolved around underlining the agricultural sector’s need for resilience, sustainability, and productivity. It also aimed to underscore the critical significance of food security and nutrition.
In his inaugural address, Prime Minister Rabuka emphasized the pivotal role that agriculture plays in the country’s economy and the well-being of its citizens.
He lauded the tireless efforts of the nation’s farmers, recognizing their unwavering commitment to maintaining a consistent supply of high-quality produce for the population.
The event featured a remarkable variety of agricultural products, encompassing everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy items and livestock. This vivid display underscored the importance of resilience and food security in the face of persistent challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
Farmers from diverse regions across the nation showcased their finest harvests, showcasing the wealth and diversity of Fiji’s agricultural landscape.
Reflecting on his own experience as a small-scale farmer, Prime Minister Rabuka underlined the need for resilience within the agricultural sector.
“You see, having a home garden is not just about growing vegetables; it’s about creating a source of fresh and constant food supply. It’s about fostering food security, ensuring proper nutrition for our families, and reducing our dependence on imported processed foods,” Prime Minister Rabuka stated.
“It’s about nurturing resilience within our communities.”
Prime Minister Rabuka revealed that as an island nation, Fiji faces unique challenges related to food security and water resources. The impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events, further complicate the management of water and food security.
He further stressed the importance of developing strategies that make food production resilient to climate change, including exploring drought-resistant crops and sustainable water practices.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Rabuka addressed the importance of addressing critical issues, including the affordability of food, its equitable distribution, and the necessity for nutritional education, particularly among vulnerable populations and those residing in remote areas.
He emphasised that achieving food security and equitable access to water for every Fijian necessitates a collaborative approach involving communities, government bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and various stakeholders.
Prime Minister Rabuka acknowledged Fiji’s pivotal role and underscored the significant contribution of the agriculture sector to the nation’s economy.
The theme of the Agriculture Show, “Resilient, Sustainable, and Productive,” aligns seamlessly with Fiji’s objectives of modernizing the agricultural sector and fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors.
The Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation to the dedicated partners and stakeholders who are actively engaged in fortifying Fiji’s agricultural sector. He further emphasized the Coalition Government’s unwavering commitment to enhancing cooperation across all sectors of the economy.
In harmony with the theme of World Food Day 2023, “Water is Life, Water is Food, Leave No One Behind,” Prime Minister Rabuka called for united efforts to build a more resilient, sustainable, and productive future for Fiji. Together, Fiji can work towards a world where hunger and poverty are eradicated.
World Food Day is celebrated in conjunction with organisations such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Program, the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.