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Pacific Farmers Have Their Say: Governments Need To Embrace Technology

May 2020

Sales Have Reduced Nationwide For Beekeepers

Caldeira is calling on the Fiji government to maintain communications with farmers in this pandemic by embracing technology

Fiji Beekeepers Association are feeling the sting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Caldeira, president of the association, said the future impacts remain unclear for beekeepers.

“Restrictions on public gatherings have delayed larger events and overseas development partners have delayed projects and travel to Fiji.”

While sales have been reduced nationwide, he said the future impacts is likely to increase.

“Health of course is the biggest threat that affects everyone.”

“COVID-19 has contributed to near-term, market weakness.  However, the biggest threats facing beekeepers are not caused by COVID-19.  The biggest threats remain continued market softness due to increasing honey production, weak honey bee genetics, and a parasitic mite that is spreading through Fiji.”

Caldeira said Fiji Beekeepers Association was using this time to strengthen communications among members.

“Our past experience in mass communication campaigns and humanitarian efforts in response to natural disasters are some of the strategies we are now implementing to mitigate threats of COVID 19.”

“We’re increasing communication and awareness with members, increasing our use of social media to connect with employees, members, markets and traders.”

“It’s too early for us to work with other organisations but possibly in the future. At the moment, we’re taking all out meetings online to replace face-to-face meetings with members.”

He has urged the  government to plan for a new reality brought on by the global pandemic.

“Government needs to embrace video-conferencing to maintain good communications, even without COVID 19, video conferencing reduces travel and a big cost and time saver.”

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