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Grace Road Food Company Limited is the type of investment that is needed in Fiji, says Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Uraia Waibuta.
Mr Waibuta said this during Grace Road Food’s first International Conference on Rice Farming for Food Security in Fiji the past Thursday.
“It has the highest level of commitment to come and produce and also to partner with the locals,” Mr Waibuta said at the conclusion of the half-day event.
“That is an area that we so thankful of and it’s not only them who will be benefitting from what they produce but it’s also the landowners who can benefit.
“For some of the projects, it can be theirs but on the other hand there will be a joint partnership with the landowners whereby whatever is being done on their farm is also being replicated with landowners.”
He added the best part on working with the rice company was that it was on all levels a win-win situation.
The company based in Navua is building an Agriculture Research Institute it expects to open in October.
It recently opened its second farm in Galoa, Navua, and has major plans to move into the North as approvals are underway.
Managing director, Daniel Kim said they have additionally invested $5 million on state-of-the-art machinery from Thailand, the biggest rice exporter in the world.
To date, Grace Road has acquired with the help of the landowners, 1000 acres and hopes to acquire in total 13,500 acres of land by 2019 to produce 80,000 tonnes of rice annually.
Mr Kim added this would enable them to achieve its goal rice self-sufficiency by 2020 and expand further thereon in in areas of targeting international nice markets where they will grow high-end varieties.