The Grace Road Group has shown interest to invest in the rice industry in the North and in particular, Rewa Rice Limited.
The president of the South Korean Christian Church-based firm, Daniel Kim, has requested Principal Agriculture officer North John Cox to get Government to consider his interest.
Grace Road already has a rice farm in Navua and has been exploring land elsewhere in the country to expand the farming operations.
Rewa Rice Limited is a state-owned enterprise and Mr Kim said they have the resources and machines for rice production.
“I am aware that the Rewa Rice has no production control and I am interested in lifting the rice industry in Fiji,” Mr Kim said.
“We have all the resources, machines, our very own people from South Korea ready to train the locals to provide expertise in organic farming and especially rice.”
He said currently their rice mill construction in Navua was nearing completion.
He also confirmed they have started with their first rice farming project in Vunivesi along Savusavu Highway in Cakaudrove Province.
Mr Cox commended on the efforts and commitment of the company.
“I have been working along with this company since they came to Vanua Levu last year searching for land to do rice farming,” Mr Cox said.
“They have all the machines and resources and most importantly they have the foresight.
“We have been crying for rice farming in Vanua Levu and we had gone out talking to villagers but their prefer doing fishing.”
Mr Cox has assured that he would write to the government about Mr Kim’s request.
Rewa Rice Limited Mill manager Ashrit Pratap said they, as the miller only buy paddy from rice farmers, process it and sell it.
“The production of rice is looked after by Ministry of Agriculture and currently the machine is not functioning,” Mr Pratap said.
“We have limited machines and this year the weather was not favourable.
“However compared to the past year rice production, this year we had an increase.”
Mr Pratarp said for 2014 they had 480 tonnes of rice and this year they had 517 tonnes.
“We do exist and still continue to provide rice in the market,” he said.
He said the Grace Road Company has lot of advantages as it was under one control.
“They have plans to do their own farming, milling, production and marketing,” Mr Pratap said.
“Unlike us, we work with Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Public Enterprises.”