Far Eastern Agriculture

United Kingdom

FAO promotes contract farming in Fiji

The government of Fiji and FAO have announced to continue their partnership to promote contract farming as a means to coordinate links between farmers and agribusiness firms in the region

Contract farming is an agreement which establishes conditions between a buyer and farmers for the production and marketing of farm products © Asian Development Bank/Flickr

A contract farming training workshop on planning and implementing contract farming operations in Fiji was held in Suva recently. Fiji Crops and Livestock Council (FCLC) provided logistics for this training workshop that has been jointly facilitated by FAO agribusiness value chains consultant Shukrullah Sherzad and FCLC contract farming experts.

Sherzad said, “Contract farming is one of the proven mechanisms that can be promoted to improve efficiency and inclusiveness in transforming food and agriculture systems.”

In Fiji, contract farming aims to establish conditions between a buyer and farmers for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. Under contract farming, producers commit to the future delivery of farm products to a buyer under agreed specifications that can include prices, production technologies, among other mutually agreed conditions.

“Through FAO projects, we aim to improve the capacity of farmers to market a consistent supply of safe, quality food. One of the outputs of this workshop was to facilitate improved farmer linkages to market through the adoption of contracts,” Sherzad explained.

There has been significant progress in Fiji securing agreements between farmers and exporters. “A cocoa exporter agreed to buy from the cocoa farmers based on the developed criteria and template which was developed under the workshop,” noted Sherzad.

FAO sub-regional office for the Pacific Islands has conducted 10 contract farming training workshops over 2017 – 2018 as part of a regional project covering Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.