China donates fertilizer to Fiji farmers

14:37, February 03, 2010      

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China will donate 12,000 tons of fertilizer to Fiji this month, local media reported on Wednesday.

South Pacific Fertilizers Ltd. (SPF) board chairman John May said the fertilizer would be shared amongst farmers and cane growers in the island nation.

May said the donation was the result of a request made by the Fiji government to China.

The Fiji government had written to other countries asking for assistance following the floods in January last year.

South Korea had donated 100 tons of fertilizer to SPF last year.

May said the first shipment of 600 tons from China had already arrived in Fiji.

The fertilizer would be distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture to farmers in Dreketi, Labasa, Koronivia and Sigatoka that were badly affected by the disaster.

The remaining 600 tons will be delivered later this month, he said, without specifying the date.

He said they did not have enough fertilizer to distribute to all individual farmers so only those selected would receive the donation from China.

The fertilizer company will work closely with the Sugar Cane Growers Council and the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji to determine farmers who would be recipients of the donation.

The cost of natural disasters that hit Fiji last year alone was estimated at more than 200 million Fiji dollars (102 million U.S. dollars).

Farmers were the worst affected in the 2009 floods and even supplies for local market quota was reduced badly forcing higher charges on available vegetables and food crops.

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