Yaqona, dalo, cassava, watermelon and chillies were the top five crops affected following TC Yasa, was one of the findings in the Detailed Damage Assessment (DDA).
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy told Parliament on Monday (8.2.21) the top five livestock that suffered the highest casualties and injuries were goat, sheep, bees, cattle and horses.
“Total damages to the agriculture sector recorded a value of more than $147m, out of which 94per cent were value of damages on crop, 5.4per cent on livestock and 0.6per cent on infrastructure,” he said.
He said on Zone 1, which was the most affected area according to the cyclone path, crop planting area damage recorded was more than 50per cent of total area and captured value of dead livestock at around $5.2m.
“These findings require a rapid response and a well-coordinated rehabilitation plan to ensure Fijians livelihoods are properly restored,” the Hon. Dr Reddy explained.
Therefore, he said, as lead agency for food security and livelihood cluster, the Ministry was tasked with designing a response and rehabilitation plan for the next six months post TC Yasa for crop, livestock, fisheries and forest sector.
He said a three-phase plan was then developed.
“Phase One was designed to cover the first six weeks after disaster, and included immediate food security plan that targeted over 23,000 households.
“This included some of the work carried out straight after TC Yasa such as distribution of seed packages, kumala and bele cuttings etc.”
Minister Reddy explained Phase 2 covered life-saving rehabilitation plan, sought the rapid recovery of Fiji’s rural productive sector by targeting almost 14,000 agriculture households and prioritized subsistence and semi-commercial farmers that had lost 75per cent or more of their stock.
“It consists of six components – provision of planting material and tools, land clearing and preparation, rehabilitation of infrastructure and repair to farm roads.
“The plan also highlight Fisheries and Forestry area of priorities.”
The Hon. Minister said the third phase of the response and resilience plan facilitated the transition to sustainable development that ensured Fiji was better prepared and resilient to the effects of future natural disasters and climate change.
(Source: The Fijian Government, 10 February 2021)