Small businesses key to boosting agriculture


THE potential of the agriculture industry can be unlocked through the development of small to medium enterprises, says a senior government official.
Deputy Secretary of the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry Joseph Vutliu said the department was focused on facilitating trade to grow small businesses to support agriculture and rural development.
“The agriculture industry is significant as it supports the bulk of our people who live in rural areas,” he said.
“However, the industry suffers low production because it employs fewer number of those people in rural areas.
“Government can increase the participation of people in the rural areas by establishing manufacturing enterprises of specific crops. This can be done through developing more agricultural economic zones.”
He was speaking during the final day of the inaugural agriculture summit yesterday.
Vutliu urged stakeholders in the government and in the private sector to take ownership of the 2016 SME policy to realise its objectives.
He assured the Department of Agriculture and Livestock that his department would commit itself to the summit’s recommendations.