MINISTER for Agriculture and Livestock Hon Senley Filualea says despite the pandemic his ministry has recorded significant achievements in 2020.
Speaking during his 2021 Appropriation Bill 2021 debate speech in Parliament today, Minister Filualea said last year his ministry have signed two major projects for cassava productions and hatchery.
The two projects were signed with Foodworks Suppliers Hatchery and Sape Farm.
He said the Foodworks Suppliers Hatchery had so far brought in five batches of eggs, which resulted in the sale of 47,000 plus chicks.
The Minister said about 9,000 eggs should be ready for farmers next week that will bring the total number of chicks supplied to 56,0000 plus.
“They have since brought in a total of 147 tonnes of feed. We signed a $2.4million contract with FoodWorks Supplies but so far, only $1.7million was utilised,” he said.
Minister Filualea said as for the Cassava Production with Sape Farm and its outgrowers, they signed a contract of $2.7million but so far only $1.716million was utilised.
He said Sape Farm was contracted to farm 40 hectares of cassava and potato, which they delivered last year with another 19 hectares from out grower farmers.
“Sape Farm has already made arrangements with a local supplier to support the supplier to freeze and pack its cassava for export. Therefore, we are expecting some export from them this year,” he said.
The Minister said Sape Farm have indicated that they will also build their own pack house which will be funded under the agriculture loan scheme with DBSI.
Meanwhile, Minister Filualea said last year his ministry received more than 300 request for projects.
However, he said most of the approved projects were not fully funded due to the austerity measures enforced as efforts to manage the impacts of the covid19 pandemic on the economy.
“The government had invested so much in the agriculture sector last year through our support and the Economic Stimulus Package. I want to urge those that have benefited to be faithful and deliver on what is expected from them,” he said.