WOMEN UNITE TO IMPROVE SOCIO ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN SIGATOKA VILLAGE

CAPTION:?(On far left) Mrs Seleti Vasiri, the vice president of Tuberata Women’s Group with the Ministry of Women staff in front of the piggery project in Tuberata Village in Sigatoka. Photo: MINFO.

A government-funded project designed to economically boost the lives of the women of Tuberatu in Sigatoka is taking shape.

What was intended to only provide a source of income for the women of Tuberatu is now injecting financial assistance to the entire community.

In 2011, government through the Ministry of Women provided financial assistance of more than $4,000 to the women? group, the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Tuberatu. This assistance followed a request from the group for these funds to establish a piggery business in their village.

The women group?s vice president Mrs Seleti Vasiri said that since 2011, the women of Tuberatu have never faltered in seeing the development of the project.

?The project is well under progress; we have managed to sell two piglets and the pork meat was sold at $6 a kg, it was bought by people within and nearby villages. We have earned more than $600 from the first sales and money earned has been deposited into savings account,? she said.

Funding for these projects from government is also designed to create self-sufficiency and ensure maximum profits.

?We will buy two other piglets to replace the two already sold and we want to carry out a market survey to get a good price for pork meat. There is huge demand for pork as villages here are located far away from Sigatoka town and we can readily supply the pork meat to these villages, they will happily pay our price,? Mrs Vasiri said.

?We are determined to expand the piggery project and we have plans to save the money and start another small vegetable farm for the women?s group. We would make every effort to earn income for our families and these 2 projects will also contribute towards the healthy development of our children as malnutrition is one of the challenges seen in the rural communities,? she added.

Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni commended the group for their determination and for working with each other to support the entire community.

?Government is focused on improving the lives of the women as being the agents of change in their communities. The Ministry is providing similar income generating opportunities for women in poultry farms, handicrafts, beehives, coconut by-products, bakeries, canteens and seaweed products?, Minister Luveni said.

?The changes are witnessed through the improvement in their livelihood and being able to contribute towards their household income. To achieve sustainable development women need to be givenequal opportunities to participate in economic initiatives,? the Minister for Women reiterated.

The Ministry of Women and Social Welfare is currently monitoring government funded projects to ensure that these funds are well used and improving the lives of ordinary Fijians.

MINFO