MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:30PM 15/07/13

1.?AGRO SHOW TO ATTRACT YOUTH TO AGRICULTURE POTENTIAL -?This year?s annual Crest Agriculture Show would be promoting agriculture as a means of employment and commercial development to Fiji?s youth population.

2.?SEAWEED TRAINING TO TARGET YOUTH AND WOMEN IN RURAL COMMUNITIES -?Government?s decision to tap into the seaweed industry is expected to generate income and employment opportunities for the youth and women of Fiji.

3.?NEW MAGISTRATE PRESENTS OATH AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE?- Fiji?s judiciary today welcomed another addition to its ranks following the appointment of a new resident magistrate.

 
1.?AGRO SHOW TO ATTRACT YOUTH TO AGRICULTURE POTENTIAL

This year?s annual Crest Agriculture Show would be promoting agriculture as a means of employment and commercial development to Fiji?s youth population.

Organised annually by the Ministry of Agriculture, the show supports the agricultural sector by raising awareness of Fiji?s micro and macro agricultural sector.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community?s (SPC) Land Resources Division Forest and Trees coordinator, Mr Sairusi Bulai today, handed a cheque of $15,000 to the Ministry as sponsors for the show.

Mr Bulai commended the theme for this year?s show, which is ?Agriculture for Fiji?s Health and Wealth?, as a vibrant and productive agricultural sector can help improve health and reduce incidents of poverty.

?We firmly believe that for a country to progress we need a healthy population and agriculture sector plays a vital role in this regard,? Mr Bulei said.

?There are, of course, many challenges that we face in the sector. A major one is the need to get more and more of our younger generation attracted to agriculture, an issue which almost all countries of the Pacific are struggling with.?

Mr Bulai said the show was an effective means to show the public, especially youths, the benefits we can derive from agriculture and the elements needed to make it more productive and rewarding in spite of the challenges

Ministry permanent secretary, Mr Ropate Ligairi, said the funding would help in organising the show on a bigger scale to enable greater participation from all stakeholders at the event.

Including this donation, the Ministry now has $245,000 in its coffers with Government contributing $150,000 through the annual budget.

?This year we want to make the show bigger and invite more people especially from the tourism sector and we contacted Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request that they inform the diplomats about this show so that they can visit the displays,? Mr Ligairi said.

The show will be held from?September 3-7, 2013?in Lautoka.

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2.?SEAWEED TRAINING TO TARGET YOUTH AND WOMEN IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

Government?s decision to tap into the seaweed industry is expected to generate income and employment opportunities for the youth and women of Fiji.

This is the design of sea weed projects being piloted across the country by various ministries including the most recent, the Ministry of Women, ?Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation.

This week, the arrival of four seaweed experts from Indonesia will see women and youth in Tailevu, Savusavu and Namosi get firsthand experience in developing seaweed farming on a commercial scale.

The head of the Social Welfare Ministry Dr Jiko Luveni said the programme complements the Ministry?s income generating reforms and programs especially those for the disadvantaged in the country.

? The seaweed training will greatly tap on the economic opportunities in the seaweed industry and it will provide a great opportunity for our women and youths to equip themselves with new techniques of earning income and improve their livelihood,? Dr Luveni said.

Dr Luveni said the experts would be providing training for the locals in seaweed processing, marketing and packaging

?The experts will be conducting three trainings for the women and youths, with the first training scheduled to start next week at Sawakasa village in Tailevu,? she said.

Dr Luveni added the newly built Mau Women?s Resource Centre, once completed, would be a hub for processing and marketing of seaweed products in Fiji.

?The Ministry has already constructed a Women?s Resource Centre in Mau village that is dedicated to producing seaweed products and the training is timely as the Centre is near completion,? Dr Luveni said.

The women and youth would also be trained on seaweed harvesting and value adding by processing seaweed to produce food items such as tomato sauce, seaweed noodles, sausages, juice and jam.

Meanwhile, ?another Indonesian expert in Bamboo and Coconut Training is also in the country and has trained women and youth in Tailevu, Ba and Ra on skills in Bamboo and Coconut Craft.

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3.?NEW MAGISTRATE PRESENTS OATH AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE

Fiji?s judiciary today welcomed another addition to its ranks following the appointment of a new resident magistrate.

Resident magistrate, Mr Liyanage Kashyapa Wickramasekara took his oath before His Excellency, the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and other senior officials of the Judiciary.

Prior to his appointment, Mr Wickramasekara held the position of State Counsel with the Attorney General?s Department in Sri Lanka.

He also holds a Bachelors of Law degree from the University of Colombo.

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