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Food Export Organisation

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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42.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to encourage the proper organisation of the cultivation and packing of food for export in Fiji; and, in particular, what encouragement is being given to the development of co-operative methods.

A recent expert report on the sugar industry has established that it is closely organised on efficient lines. Copra, the other principal foodstuff grown for export, is handled by the Fiji Copra Board. A significant development has been the establishment of a modern copra crushing mill. I have urged the Governor to encourage co-operation in Fiji and, under the guidance of local officers, some advances in this direction are being achieved. The Co-operative Societies' Ordinance enacted this year will undoubtedly provide a further stimulus. In addition, the Government are about to recruit a marketing officer, one of whose functions will be the development of cooperative markets. He will play an important part in promoting greater efficiency in the matters to which my hon. Friend refers.