Repeka Nasiko, The Fiji Times, Friday, July 18, 2014
EMPOWER Pacific's Sugarcane Industry Supplementary Income Generation Opportunities Project has opened the door for 27 individuals from the Western Division to set up their own poultry farms.
The farmers had applied for loans under the rural scheme and were also given technical advice by officials from the Ministry of Primary Industries in a one-day workshop this week.
Implemented by Empower Pacific, the program has assisted about 700 people in the region where many small micro businesses have been set up across different sectors in the agricultural industry.
Empower Pacific IGP field officer Aklesh Kishore said the program offered subsidised loans to start new projects such as poultry farming.
"We've had quite a lot of clients that want to get into poultry farming and it is something that has been very encouraging," Mr Kishore said.
"We had about 27 participants from Tavua, Ba, Lautoka and Nadi who all have their business plans and through this workshop we gave them technical advice on how to successfully run their poultry farms."
A direct beneficiary of the program is Navau sugarcane farmer Ravin Kumar who established a duck farm last year.
"It's very new but I have seen good income from this," he said.
"I've been a sugarcane farmer for a very long time and it has been a struggle which is why I decided to set up another business to earn money for my family.
"I want the farm to grow and hopefully it will."
Mr Kumar was also part of the poultry farming workshop held in Lautoka this week.
"The information that we got was very helpful and educational."
"The workshop gave us enough information that we needed to expand our farm."