Grace Road's rice farm in Narara, Deuba.
Fiji: $10m investment for rice industry
by Ropate Valemei
A Korean rice company in Navua is looking at investing $10million in the revitalisation of the rice industry in the country.
For Grace Road Company Ltd, this means more land to be acquired to employ more local people for their rice farm.
Company managing director Daniel Kim said local people needed to be educated on why we should eat rice.
"From root crops to the rice, we want the Government to educate the local people on the importance of rice," Mr Kim said.
He said a firm, stable production and supply of food was of most important requisite that influenced a country's economy.
And when considering the poor production of rice in Fiji, the gravity of this requisite cannot be emphasised enough.
With the investment, he said they would provide all the affordable and suitable machines which were on their way from Thailand.
He said these included 20 units of machines with 16 units of tractor.
"Think about it, it's huge. We will be the main distribution for the rest of the Pacific Islands."
He said they would also provide the market for Fijians who utilised their land for rice farming.
"Fiji has a big land which can be utilised for farming. After they farm, we will buy their rice at a reasonable price so all Fijian can continue planting rice."
With four varieties of rice seeds in the country, he said they were looking at introducing more variety of rice seeds.
The company is also looking at building a rice research centre and an agricultural training institute in the country to train local people and Government officials on rice farming.
For the research centre, he said they were looking to spend about $0.5m and $0.5m for the training institute which they hoped to complete by October this year.