MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 3:30PM 10/06/13

1.??MULTI-SECTORAL APPROACH TO PROMOTE WOMEN MARKET VENDORS -?Government?s pursuit to further promote the wellbeing of women market vendors, has resulted in the adoption of a multi-sectoral approach through partnerships with other government agencies and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

2.?MORE FOR NAVOSA YOUTHS-??Government will provide more youth support programmes in Navosa to assist in the development of young people in these areas.

3.?SHOW TO ADVOCATE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURAL SECTORAdvocating the important role that agriculture plays in our livelihood is what the ?Crest Chicken? Agriculture Show 2013 will seek to realise.

1.??MULTI-SECTORAL APPROACH TO PROMOTE WOMEN MARKET VENDORS

Government?s pursuit to further promote the wellbeing of women market vendors, has resulted in the adoption of a multi-sectoral approach through partnerships with other government agencies and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

In essence the ?ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has partnered with UNDP (United Nations Development Program), UN Women and other relevant agencies in exploring better economic opportunities for women such as improving facilities for women market vendors.

In addressing the first taskforce meeting last week, Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said the consolidated approach will expand the coverage on empowerment programs and facilities for women market vendors.

?We are grateful to all our valuable partners particularly UNDP, UN Women, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Rural Development and all relevant stakeholders for joining this taskforce which provides a unified framework to promote the needs and interests of women market vendors,? Dr Luveni said.

?Through increased networking and combined efforts, the respective agencies can share resources and information to expand the economic opportunities and improve facilities for women market vendors.?

UNDP Pacific Centre Millennium Development Goal specialist, Dr Asif Chida informed the taskforce on UNDP?s programme for market vendors and reiterated the need for women market vendors to have an identity.

?There are thousands of people in the informal economy of Fiji and they contribute to about 60 to 75 per cent of the economy and market vendors contribute significantly towards the informal economy,? Dr Chida said.

?Within informal economy we have 85 per cent of women market vendors who unfortunately have been perceived through social lens rather than commercial lens.?

Dr Chida said market vendors make a significant contribution of $140million annually, through an average weekly income of approximately $216 per week however significant deficits in terms of legal, governance and decent work need to be addressed.

?Especially the vendors who do not have legal empowerment. First we need to give them an identity. Once they have the identity they will have an organisation and once they have the organisation they will have the voice and once they have the voice, they will have rights and opportunities,? said Dr Chida.

Dr Luveni said while the Social Welfare Ministry provides financial literacy trainings and ROC market opportunities for women market vendors, the strengthened networking of the taskforce will further enable them to pursue potential projects such as market night shelters for vendors in the country.

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2.?MORE FOR NAVOSA YOUTHS

Government will provide more youth support programmes in Navosa to assist in the development of young people in these areas.

Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania made the call in response to a humble plea by Navosa youth for more ?Seed of Success? empowerment programme to cater for youths in these areas.

Mr Sania, who was in the interior of Navosa last week to officially close one such empowerment workshop, assured youths in the area that the empowerment programme would soon be taken to upper villages of Navosa.

? It is encouraging to see the demand for the ?Seeds of Success? programme especially from our youths in the rural areas,? explained Mr Sania.

The ministry has been taking this programme throughout the country with the aim of empowering young people especially in rural areas. Government has budgeted $400,000 for Youth Capacity building and Training programme in 2013.

Youth participant Mr Epeli Toutou from Wauosi village said the workshop has helped him re-set his priorities and life targets.

?We are requesting the Ministry of Youth to please think of other youths in our other villages here in the interior of Navosa to receive this empowerment programme,? Mr Toutou said.

?This workshop has urged me to achieve more and be a productive member of society.?

Senior church minister for upper Navosa, Reverend Naibuka Lata said the workshop was not only empowering but also a redirecting experience for adults.

? Being a participant, I am recommending young people in upper Namataku district to receive this empowerment programme too,? Rev Lata said.

The workshop which was organized for the Namataku District saw 45 participants from the villages of Nasaucoko, Keasi and Wauosi.

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3.?SHOW TO ADVOCATE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

Advocating the important role that agriculture plays in our livelihood is what the ?Crest Chicken? Agriculture Show 2013 will seek to realise.

Speaking at the naming rights for the Goodman Fielder (Fiji) Crest Chicken sponsored event, minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu, said the underlying objective of the show is to advocate the role agriculture plays in terms of food security, income generation, poverty alleviation, import substitution, export promotion and economic growth.

?The show has become synonymous whereby we have seen an increase in interest especially by the commercial sector, farmers, teachers, students and the general public as whole,? Mr Seruiratu said.

Goodman Fielder (Fiji) ?general manager Chris Zaayman said their main objective in sponsoring the show is to support and help promote agriculture as a whole in Fiji.

With this year?s theme being ?Agriculture for Fiji?s Health and Wealth?, organisers are optimistic of promoting the agricultural sector as a viable career opportunity.

The event is scheduled to be held in Lautoka from?September 3-7, 2013.

Mr Seruiratu acknowledged the support of Crest Chicken in sponsoring the show which has grown as a premier event in Fiji.

?Crest sponsorship has increased significantly over the years. ?This year it has increased its support to $40,000 and contributed $5,000 in-kind donation,? he said.

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