Rabuka: Focus on agriculture, fisheries

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka during an interview with The Fiji Times. Picture: ATU RASEA

COVID-19 has taught us that Fiji needs to develop the real assets it already has instead of being subject totally to international trade and economic pressures.

This was the view expressed by former prime minister and Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

He said despite all the economic issues caused by the pandemic, Fiji had a lot going for it as a country.

“I still feel that we should not put all our eggs in one basket,” Mr Rabuka said.

“Fiji is an agro-based economy. “We should not be too reliant on the international tourism market.

“Tourism will always have promise, but if you rely totally on it then we are risking another total breakdown if we have a lockdown and border closures and things like that.

“So we need to be have something autochthonous — what do we have growing out of the land that are real assets of this country that all of us can use and be strong.”

Mr Rabuka said Fiji’s focus should be on developing agriculture, fisheries and most especially, forestry.

“That way we don’t have to rely on imported furniture and wooden products, we can have our own furniture industry and all the economic benefits that are derived from that.

“We need to learn the lessons of countries like China and India where they concentrated on domestic production for domestic consumption before they had surplus for export.

“We have to be independent rather than totally reliant on overseas markets, international pressures and trade and all things that dictate those.”

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