MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 12:00PM 27/06/13

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1.?PRIME MINISTER?S OFFICE EXTENDS PUBLIC SERVICE DISPLAY -?The Prime Minister?s office has extended its public display until?Friday?(June 28) this week to showcase the role and services provided by the Ministry.

2.?CAMPAIGN BECOMES AN EYE OPENER FOR MAKOSOI -?The Ministry of Women has extended its Zero Tolerance – Violence Free community campaign to Makosoi, a multi-ethnic community located in Deuba.

3 .NEW AGRICULTURE LAB TO ENSURE QUALITY FIJIAN PRODUCTS?-?The global environment for international trade has vastly influenced the Fijian Government?s need for testing and laboratory accreditation in our efforts to regulate markets and mitigate against technical barriers to trade says Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu.

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1.?PRIME MINISTER?S OFFICE EXTENDS PUBLIC SERVICE DISPLAY

The Prime Minister?s office has extended its public display until?Friday?(June 28) this week to showcase the role and services provided by the Ministry.

This follows the large public attendance during the Public Service Day?on Tuesday?(June 25) at their display marquee, which is set up at the front lawn of New Wing Government Buildings.

Information on the various Department?s actvities within the PM?s Office can be gathered from the pamphlets, brochures and publications that are available within the display booth.

The display also includes the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), Ministry of Lands and the i-Taukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB).

In line with its ?Open Door Policy?, the PM?s Office continues to receive members of the public who provide feedbacks on services rendered by Government agencies and other sectors.

Members of the public are being urged to take advantage of this opportunity to visit the booth from?8am to 4pm.

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2.?CAMPAIGN BECOMES AN EYE OPENER FOR MAKOSOI

The Ministry of Women has extended its Zero Tolerance – Violence Free community campaign to Makosoi, a multi-ethnic community located in Deuba.

At yesterday?s launch, Minister Dr Jiko Luveni commended community leaders in Makosoi for their strong support and commitment in taking ownership of the campaign.

?It?s time we bring this topic out to the public and we are so happy that people of Makosoi have come on board to show their support for Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community campaign,? Dr Luveni said.

?A gate keeping committee will be ears and eyes of this campaign and there will be awareness programs provided to prepare Makosoi to be declared as violence free community.?

Makosoi community spokesperson Inia Samisoni Kafoa said the campaign would provide awareness for their 358 residents on how best to approach violence.

?I believe this campaign is going to be a great eye opener for all the residents who live here. I am confident that this campaign will help us to reduce crime and there is strong support from the Police to ensure that Makosoi becomes a crime free, violence free community,? Mr Kafoa said.

Mr Kafoa added said the presence of the Minister reflects Government?s commitment to network with communities to cultivate a multi-sectoral approach in creating violence free communities.

?Violence cases have been reported in this settlement and the sad thing is that it is caused by the relatives and people coming from outside to stay with the families here. The offences mainly involves youth and this is one of the target groups for our awareness programs on violence free community,? he said.

Speaking on behalf of Makosoi women, Serua Province advisory councilor Veniana Anthony said there are cases of domestic violence and child related issues that are hidden but campaign will eventually bring it out to the forefront.

?There have been reports of domestic violence in Makosoi. We were told that there were cases that were not reported and we came to find out later from the medical department and police officers so we agreed with all our stakeholders that yes Makosoi needs this campaign and we are grateful to the Ministry of Women for this timely initiative,? Ms Anthony said.

?Today after this commitment phase we are going to form a gatekeeping committee because we have got a strong support from Dr Luveni and also the police officers, Makosoi is definitely headed for a new beginning.

?The Minister?s speech has provided lessons for parents that family bonding is the key to building happy families and peaceful communities.?

The official launching yesterday included a ?joint campaign with the Police, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development

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3 .NEW AGRICULTURE LAB TO ENSURE QUALITY FIJIAN PRODUCTS

The global environment for international trade has vastly influenced the Fijian Government?s need for testing and laboratory accreditation in our efforts to regulate markets and mitigate against technical barriers to trade says Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu.

In opening the newly commissioned Fiji Agriculture Chemistry Laboratory?s conference room and the new wing of the Product Development Unit in Koronivia yesterday, Mr Seruiratu said it is imperative that Fiji establishes a platform of quality assessment for Fiji?s agricultural and fisheries trade commodities before we launch into the global market.

?As a government laboratory, supporting the accreditation process that is being undertaken signifies its commitment that Fiji will ensure that produce and products exported or imported are meeting the standards which ultimately ensures trade is facilitated and consumer health is protected,? Mr Seruiratu said.

He added the chemistry lab had begun its preparation towards accreditation through Government?s financial assistance and support.

?The laboratory is progressing well in its quest for accreditation with the installation of five new fumehoods, the atomic absorption spectrophotometer and the UV/Vis spectrophotometer which were necessary equipment for the lab,? Mr Seruiratu said.

Mr Seruiratu highlighted that the laboratory had proven to be an important component of the Ministry.

?The Fiji Agriculture Chemistry Lab has provided quality scientific data as evidence and has supported government authorities and stakeholders in their dealings according to appropriate legislations,? he said.

Mr Seruiratu added the accreditation development process will also strengthen the laboratory?s capacity as Fiji?s national analytical service laboratory in conducting tests on a broader scale of products for stakeholders at local and regional levels.

He added that the new machines and equipments will add value to ?Fiji?s agricultural produce such as cassava, dalo, breadfruit and so forth.

The Fiji Agriculture Chemistry Lab was established in the early 1960s.

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