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RIA_7_cover_lgThis analysis provides the results of a survey conducted with 80 vegetable farmers in Fiji’s Sigatoka Valley, Cane Coastal Area, and Koronivia on Viti Levu. The objective of the survey was to understand the current practices of vegetable farmers and the constraints they face. These observations will be used to inform the implementation of two projects funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, University of Queensland, University of Sunshine Coast, and AVRDC – World Vegetable Center in partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The projects aim to increase the production of high-value vegetables, in particular to supply hotels, resorts and supermarkets. This is seen as a priority for economic development in Fiji by the government as it will support sustainable livelihoods for farmers.Key findings of the survey showed that:

  • Most vegetable farmers in Fiji were smallholders (1-5 acres) that relied on family labor.
  • The average income of vegetable farmers was in line with the national average income of rural households.
  • The most common vegetables grown were tomato, eggplant and English cabbage.
  • Only 10% of farmers sold produce to supermarkets, resorts or export markets.
  • Most farmers sold their produce in large domestic markets in Suva, Nadi and Sigatoka, keeping approximately 10% of their harvest for personal consumption.
  • Only 12% of farmers sold through a vendor with most using a middleman or selling produce directly themselves.
  • Market prices of vegetables are highly linked to supply in domestic markets with prices dipping during periods of high supply. This corresponds with the cool dry season in Fiji (August/September).

Authors:

Anna Fink, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Suzanne Neave, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
Aloesi Hickes, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Jaw-Fen Wang, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
Nitesh Nand, Secretariat of the Pacific Community