The European Union Pacific Agriculture Policy Project and the Fiji Crops and Livestock Council (FCLC) is collaborating on projects and activities of mutual interest for the ultimate benefit of farmers, farmers’ organisations, agricultural and other areas of common interest in Fiji and the Pacific region.
PAPP and FCLC work closely together to:
- Maximise effective cooperation and efficiency and reduce duplication in delivering services to their mutual membership within their respective mandates.
- Promote closer collaboration amongst key stakeholders in collecting and updating information and data necessary for strategic policy development
The Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) is the national umbrella body for Fiji’s non-sugar agricultural sector. Launched in 2010, FCLC is the peak industry body for crop and livestock producers across the country, and is comprised of 12 national commodity associations and seven sub-sector/regional associations that were set up to represent almost 60,000 farmers across the agricultural industry, including: Pigs, Honey, Dalo, Yaqona (Kava), Grazing Livestock, Ginger, Cocoa, Agri-Exporters, Rice, Coconut Producers/Millers, Dairy, Organics, Fruits & Vegetables.
FCLC operates on the three pillars of (i) Strengthening Associations, (ii) Providing technical services (making agriculture profitable), and (iii) Advocacy – all towards the vision of being ‘Fiji’s voice for efficient agriculture’. The Council was established to raise the profile of farmers involved in crop and livestock production; to act as the apex forum for advocacy and key services that are specifically designed to respond to the needs of, and reflect the reality of, agriculture with the view to drive growth in the industry.
FCLC is a member of the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON) and in 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Caledonia Chamber of Agriculture, which saw it join the Network of Chambers of Agriculture in the Pacific.
The existing supply chain for fresh produce in Fiji typically relies heavily on middlemen, and many farmers are totally dependent on middlemen to market their produce, provide transport for their produce, even providing advice on what crops to grow, and farm inputs. Smallholder farmers, for whom it is often uneconomical to travel the distance to sell directly at markets, are limited to word of mouth and occasional interaction with Ministry of Agriculture extension staff for alternate information on market pricing and trends.
It is also recognised across the Pacific that limited capacity of traditional national extension systems is a challenge to efficient dissemination of market information. Extension work is hampered by a lack of staff and resources to reach sites to collect and disseminate information. Thus, mobile phones can also help link extension services with farmers to disseminate information on crop pricing, and information on pests and diseases.