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FAO promotes contract farming in Fiji

10/08/2018 Suva, Fiji

The Government of Fiji and FAO are continuing their partnership to promote contract farming as a means to coordinate links between farmers and agribusiness firms.

A Contract Farming training workshop on – planning and implementing Contract Farming operations in Fiji– was held in Suva, Fiji. Fiji Crops and Livestock Council –FCLC provided logistic for this training workshop. FAO agribusiness value chains consultant Mr. Sherzad and FCLC Contract Farming experts jointly facilitated this workshop. FAO Agribusiness value chains Consultant, Shukrullah Sherzad said. “Contract farming is one of the proven mechanisms that can be promoted to improve efficiency and inclusiveness in transforming food and agriculture systems.”

In simple terms, contract farming is an agreement which establishes conditions between a buyer and farmers for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. Under contract farming, producers commit to the future delivery of farm products to a buyer under agreed specifications that can include prices, production technologies, among other mutually agreed conditions.

“Through FAO projects we aim to improve the capacity of farmers to market a consistent supply of safe, quality food. One of the outputs of this workshop was to facilitate improved farmer linkages to market though the adoption of contracts”. Sherzad explained.

There has been significant progress in Fiji securing agreements between farmers and exporters. “A cocoa exporter agreed to buy from the cocoa farmers based on the developed criteria and template which was developed under the workshop.” Said Sherzad.

In another case, an exporter of ginger has also agreed to sign contracts with ginger farmers to source approximately 1500 – 2000 tons of ginger a year. The exporter will also provide technical support under the contract agreement.

The Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) agreed to establish a Contract Farming Working Committee to help facilitate between ginger farmers and agricultural exporter Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd.

Ginger processing company and exporter, Frespac Ginger (Fiji) Ltd also showed initial interest in facilitating contracts with farmers to provide more than 500 tons of ginger a year.

FAO Sub regional office for the Pacific Islands has conducted ten contract farming training workshops over 2017 – 2018 as part of a regional project covering Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

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