A brand new state of the art greenhouse will soon be established at Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Koronivia Research Station (KRS), the first to be built for the Ministry.
This has been made possible through partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFIL), underscoring the importance of enhancing Fiji’s food security preparedness. The total project is expected to cost over CAD$210, 000 (FJD$339, 272) and will be completed over 8 months.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic exposing the vulnerabilities of the global economy, while underscoring the importance of food security, managing food security risks and the urgent need to remain adaptive and forward looking, the Greenhouse project is earmarked to alleviate some of these key challenges locally.
This project enhances food security preparedness through a stable and accessible supply chain for seeds and planting material in Fiji through 3 main objectives;
i.Building a bio-secured climate-controlled greenhouse facility to increase productivity of Government’s central crop nursery, promote multiplication, adaptive crops and to secure the supply chain for seedlings throughout the country at all times;
ii.Building a strong information network of crop nurseries nationwide, and;
iii.Support research capacity including 22 female research staff.
Currently, the KRS nursery is essentially a field nursery containing over 60 crop varieties and doubles as a multiplication centre, with the Research Station being a key repository for food security supplying seedlings throughout Fiji.
However, its field nursery is directly exposed to extreme weather risks, with significant loss of nursery planting materials during extreme weather events. Climate change risks will continue to present major risks for Fiji’s food security and national economy.
It is estimated that cyclones and flood losses also translate into an average of 25,700 people being pushed into poverty every year in Fiji.
With over 70% of Fiji’s agricultural households being reliant on subsistence agriculture, Government crop nurseries are, and will continue to be a vital repository and a supplier of crop material.
In the long-term, the Greenhouse Project is anticipated to provide a stable repository and supply chain comprising public, private and farmer nurseries that provide local seeds and planting material at all times; with an expected increase in crop yield and overall productivity due to healthy and resilient crops.
Additionally, accredited greenhouse/crop nurseries including the KRS, public and private nurseries, that act as first responders during times of natural crisis will be strengthened and will also see the increased participation of women in agriculture, management and agricultural science fields.