MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 22/10/13 4:00PM

-DON?T FORGET TO WIND YOUR CLOCKS FORWARD BY 1 HOUR WHEN DAYLIGHT SAVING BEGINS ON THE 27THOF OCTOBER (SUNDAY)-

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1.?FIJIAN PRESIDENT VISITS SITE OF THE FALLEN?-?His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday paid his respects at the War Memorial in Varamata, in Honiara.

 

2.?INAUGURAL?VOYAGE TO BOOST TOURISM INDUSTRY -?The launch of the inaugural trip for a tourist cruise ship today to the Lau group demonstrate the positive growth of Fiji’s tourism industry.

 

3.?AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION WITH THE PEOPLE?S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH TO BE ESTABLISHED?-?Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on agricultural cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and the People?s Republic of Bangladesh.

 

4.?FIJI CALLS FOR URGENT ATTENTION ON PROBLEMS OF LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES?- At the United Nations this week, Fiji called for greater international attention to the acute problems of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

 

5.?INDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE TO WORK WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTRY?-?Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation and Collaboration in Agricultural Research for Development between the Government of the Republic of Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)?through the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

 

6.?FIJI AND ISRAEL TO DEEPEN RELATIONS THROUGH AGRICULTURE?-?Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agricultural Technical Cooperation between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of Israel through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).

 

7.?CABINET APPROVES MOU WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF PHILIPPINES?-?Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Technical Cooperation on Coconut between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of the Republic of Philippines through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) of the Department of Agriculture.

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8.?CABINET APPROVES MOU WITH PNG?-?Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Partnership and Collaboration for enhancing Agricultural Research between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG)?through the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).

 

9.?RURAL WOMEN ACKNOWLEDGE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS -?Women representing more than fifty women groups from all the provinces in the country have commended Government for their commitment to addressing the concerns of rural women.

10.?SPECIAL STUDENTS FINALLY GRADUATE -?The aspirations of 14 special students will finally come true when they graduate this week from the Fiji Vocational Training Centre.

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1.?FIJIAN PRESIDENT VISITS SITE OF THE FALLEN

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His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday paid his respects at the War Memorial in Varamata, in Honiara.

 

Fiji?s Head of State is in Solomon Islands on an official visit and held talks with the country?s Governor General and Prime Minister.

 

As the President laid his wreath at the memorial site, he also paid tribute to the sacrifice by Fijian soldiers who lost their lives in World War II.

 

Later the same day, he met with the Fijian community in Honiara and updated them on events taking place in Fiji. Later the same evening, he hosted the Solomon Islands government to a dinner where he thanked both the government and people for welcoming him to their country.

 

He leaves for Vanuatu later today.

 

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2.?INAUGURAL?VOYAGE TO BOOST TOURISM INDUSTRY

 

The launch of the inaugural trip for a tourist cruise ship today to the Lau group demonstrate the positive growth of Fiji’s tourism industry.

 

This was highlighted by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Mr Timoci Lesi Natuva as he officiated on behalf of Government at the inaugural launch .

 

“This new development will boost our thriving tourism industry by attracting more tourists into our shores.”

 

The Minister highlighted the contribution from the tourism sector to Fiji adding that it is “Fiji’s fastest growing industry in terms of employment creation and foreign exchange earnings”.

 

Today’s launch will see the vessel set sail for the first time to the Lau Group and in particular to Vanuabalavu, Fulaga Island, Kabara, Totoya and Wailagilagi. This, the Minister said would influence and boost employment for locals living in these communities.

 

“It provides an opportunity for small village businesses such as the sale of art and craft products such as wood carvings, baskets and necklaces by villagers.”

 

Tourists who were the first to sail today were treated to a performance by the police jazz band also performed at today’s event.

 

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(More pictures on MINFO?s Facebook page.)

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3.?AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION WITH THE PEOPLE?S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH TO BE ESTABLISHED

 

Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on agricultural cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and the People?s Republic of Bangladesh.

 

The MOU will be the basis of stronger economic and development cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the agriculture sector between the two countries.

 

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu.

 

The Minister said that the aim of the MOU is to promote agricultural technical progress and economic advancement including living standards of the people in both countries.

 

He said that the MOU would enable the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture to increase production, improve yields, produce better varieties of crops, reduce imports and ensure food security.

 

The MOU will be valid for a period of five years and shall be extended automatically for a subsequent period of 2 years thereafter.

 

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4.?FIJI CALLS FOR URGENT ATTENTION ON PROBLEMS OF LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

 

At the United Nations this week, Fiji called for greater international attention to the acute problems of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

 

Speaking in Fiji’s capacity as Chair of the 133-member Group of 77 and China, Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Peter Thomson told the UN’s Second Committee that “bold actions and strengthened partnership for development are urgently required.”

 

Ambassador Thomson said that agreed Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) commitments must be met if the LDCs are to progress.?? Other commitments that should be fulfilled in a timely manner are “implementation of duty-free and quota-free marketing access on a lasting basis for all of the LDCs”.

 

Ambassador Thomson reported that there has been some modest progress in the two years since the Istanbul Programme of Action was put in place for LDCs.? However he said LDCs continue to face pervasive poverty, serious structural impediments to growth, low levels of human development, and high exposure to shocks and disasters.? He said that the deterioration of the global economic environment had been transmitted to LDCs in the form of declining Foreign Direct Investment and ODA flows.

 

Fiji’s Permanent Representative noted that all LDCs are lagging behind in the critical areas of science, technology and innovation and that these play an important role in development.? In this context he said the Group of 77 supported the establishment, during the current session of the UN General Assembly, of a proposed technology bank for LDCs.

 

There are forty-nine countries on the UN’s LDC list.? These countries include the Pacific Small Island Developing States of Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

 

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5.?INDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE TO WORK WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTRY

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Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation and Collaboration in Agricultural Research for Development between the Government of the Republic of Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)?through the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

 

ICRISAT is a member of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Consortium based in India. It is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.

 

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu.

 

The Minister said that the MOU with ICRISAT is to empower the rural people in Fiji to overcome poverty, food insecurity and a degraded environment through better agriculture.

 

The MOU shall be in force for three years.

 

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6.?FIJI AND ISRAEL TO DEEPEN RELATIONS THROUGH AGRICULTURE

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Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agricultural Technical Cooperation between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of Israel through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).

 

The MOU will provide a framework for deepening, expanding and preserving bilateral development cooperation between Fiji and Israel, and further strengthen the existing spirit of friendly relations between the two countries.

 

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu.

 

The Minister said that the MOU would develop the basis of a stronger economic and development cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which aimed to promote agricultural technical progress and economic advancement including the living standards of Fijians.

 

The scope of the MOU includes Agricultural Cooperation and Sustainable Forestry, Ecosystem Management, Climate Change and Renewable Energy, Education Cooperation, and Sustainable Economic Development.

 

The MOU will be valid for five years and would be renewed automatically for successive periods of equal duration.

 

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7.?CABINET APPROVES MOU WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF PHILIPPINES

 

Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Technical Cooperation on Coconut between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of the Republic of Philippines through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) of the Department of Agriculture.

 

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu.

 

The Minister said that the focus of this MOU is?to strengthen the existing friendly relations between the two countries through the technical co-operation agreement in the development of the Coconut sector in both countries.

 

He said that the MOU will encourage the development of the coconut sector?s good agricultural field practices, including pre-harvest and post-harvest management; enhance and strengthen exchange of genetic materials with tolerance to various abiotic and biotic stresses; value-addition of food and non-food products from all parts for coconut utilization or processing at rural and commercial levels; Geographical Information System (GIS) and Trade and Marketing.

 

The Minister also said that a joint committee from both parties will be formed to recommend procedures and plans, provide guidance, identify activities, review progress and submit reports to the executing agencies, in order to implement the MOU.

 

The MOU will remain in force for a period of five years.

 

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8.?CABINET APPROVES MOU WITH PNG

 

Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Partnership and Collaboration for enhancing Agricultural Research between Fiji through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG)?through the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).

 

The MOU is a result of discussions between the Fijian Prime Minister and his PNG counterpart during his State visit to PNG in April this year.

 

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu.

 

NARI is a public funded, statutory research organization in PNG, mandated to conduct and foster applied and adaptive research into any branch of biological, physical and natural sciences related to agriculture, cultural and socioeconomic aspects of the agricultural sector especially of the smallholder agriculture; and matters relating to rural development and of relevance to PNG.

 

The Minister said that MOU with NARI would benefit both Governments through increased agricultural production and modernizing agricultural technology for food security for all.

 

The MOU shall be in effect for five years, commencing from the date of its signing with the right of renewal upon agreement between the parties.

 

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9.?RURAL WOMEN ACKNOWLEDGE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

 

Women representing more than fifty women groups from all the provinces in the country have commended Government for their commitment to addressing the concerns of rural women.

 

At the conclusion of the recently organised Food and Craft Fair that was held in Nadi, the women highlighted various assistance programs targeted towards protecting women and empowering them at the same time. The event also provided an avenue for women to directly address concerns and challenges with other groups and organisations including Government.

 

Through partnership with Non-Government Organisations, the Ministry of Women made all the travel and accommodation arrangements for women as far as Cakaudrove, Macuata, Bua, Rotuma, Tailevu, Ra, Rabi and Naitasiri to participate in this national event.

Banaban Women?s Organisation president Mrs Terikano Takesau said while the Food and Craft Fair provided them with an opportunity to display their products, they were able to sell some of this at the venue.

 

?The Banaban women are grateful to the government for giving us this special day to promote our skills and products. In two days we have managed to sell a lot of coconut value added products like Virgin Coconut Oil, soap, even handicrafts and ladies jewelries through which we have earned more than $400.?

 

?Most of these products have been bought by the tourists visiting our stalls and we hope that the Ministry will organise similar craft shows in the future. The rural women have also acquired skills and knowledge relating to financial literacy, health, agriculture, education and also developed friendship with women from other provinces,? Mrs Takesau said.

 

She said a major government project will soon open in Rabi and it will benefit around 1000 Banaban women living in Rabi.

 

?We are indebted to the government for assisting us with the establishment of a Virgin Coconut Oil factory in Rabi which should be opened by the end of this year. This development has been possible through the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama?s visit to the island where the Banaban people had the opportunity to directly request for government?s assistance to start this much-awaited development.

 

?The project has been funded by government with an amount of $32,000 and the new infrastructure will boost the economic development through the production of best quality and quantity of Virgin Coconut Oil to be marketed?both local and international market. Last year, the ministry of women has also donated two electrical coconut scrappers to the Banaban Women?s Group worth over $2000 which assists the women with their VCO production,? Mrs Takesau reiterated.

 

Mrs Sushila Rameshwar, president of Nadi Women?s Council?said government?s reach to?rural women through various income generating projects should be commended.

 

?The present government has reached out to many women?s groups through various initiatives like violence free campaign and construction of women centres. The Nadi Town Council would like to acknowledge the Minister Dr Luveni for her continued hardwork and confidence she has taken in her role as a women?s minister to reach out and listen to the voices of rural women in Fiji.

 

?The 2013 Rural Women?s Food and Crafts Fair is the demonstration of the positive changes received by the rural women in Fiji who have delightfully come out in large numbers to market their creativity and potential as key agents for food security and poverty alleviation,? Mrs Rameshwar said.

 

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10.?SPECIAL STUDENTS FINALLY GRADUATE

The aspirations of 14 special students will finally come true when they graduate this week from the Fiji Vocational Training Centre.

The students represent different institutions for students with special needs and were awarded with the Scholarship Scheme for Special Children; a new scholarship scheme introduced this year by Government to provide educational opportunities for students with special needs.

The graduation ceremony will be held?tomorrow?at the Fiji National Council for Disabled (FNCDP) Complex in Toorak, Suva.

They completed their eight weeks training for Persons with Disabilities on Cabinet Making course, which involves the carving of wooden items such as chairs, tables, kitchen boards, garlic pounders and so forth.

In February this year, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had announced that this new Scheme was important in recognizing the young people in Fiji who have grown up in adverse conditions and many of whom were neglected and abused. He said it was critical that Government provided educational opportunities for everyone.

While the scholarships are provided through the Public Service Commission, a separate component of the scheme commits authorities to look at employment opportunities for graduates once they complete courses.

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