DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 10/04/15 5:00PM

1. President encourages investment in education – His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today reiterated the call for all Fijians to take advantage of Government?s Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) and other programmes to enhance their education in the various fields.


2. AGRICULTURE ON DISPLAY IN SUVA
– The Ministry of Agriculture will be on display at the Government Service Centre (old Fiji Visitors Bureau Building) in Suva from Monday April 13 to Saturday April 18.


3. Fiji stands with Vanuatu: Ratu Epeli
– His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today emphasised that Fiji will continue to stand by Vanuatu as thousands rebuild their lives following the devastation of Cyclone Pam last month.


4. FIJI CORRECTIONS SERVICES DONATES TOWARDS RELIEF EFFORTS FOR VANUATU
– The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Hon. Inia Seruiratu this morning received $10,000 from the Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Services lieutenant colonel Iferemi Vasu that will be directed towards relief efforts in Vanuatu.


5. NEW SIGNING TO STRENGTHEN RICE PRODUCTION
– The Grace Road Food Company (GRFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mataqali Tacilevu from Matacaucau village in Korovou this week as part of the Company?s efforts to reach the Government?s vision of self-sufficiency in rice production by the year 2020.

1 President encourages investment in education

His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today reiterated the call for all Fijians to take advantage of Government?s Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) and other programmes to enhance their education in the various fields.

He made the comments while addressing a graduation ceremony at the University of Fiji (UniFiji) graduation ceremony in Saweni, Lautoka today.

The Head of State said Government had a vision of building a knowledge-based society and thus had provided various programmes to achieve this.

?Fiji?s national vision is to be a knowledge-based society and the Fijian government continues to place increased emphasis on the education sector. It had increased the budgetary allocation for education and had introduced several schemes to enable as many students as possible to obtain tertiary qualifications,? he said.

?But the national focus is not only in increasing the opportunities for our young people to obtain tertiary qualifications and on improving the quality of academic performance, but it is also on improving trade-based and agricultural skills.?

These, he says are now materialising in the form of technical institutions which Government has started to open in strategic locations around the country.

?Many more will be opened in the future to provide all Fijians the opportunity to gain appropriate knowledge and skills and to all of you parents who are here today, I implore you to continue to invest in the education of your children. There will be great returns from your investment,? HE Ratu Epeli said.

2 AGRICULTURE ON DISPLAY IN SUVA

The Ministry of Agriculture will be on display at the Government Service Centre (old Fiji Visitors Bureau Building) in Suva from Monday April 13 to Saturday April 18.

Farmers, stakeholders and the members of the public are invited to witness the services provided by the various divisions of the Ministry.

The major service providers of the Ministry, the Crop Extension, Research, Animal Health and Production, Land and Water Resource Management and Land Resource Planning and Development Divisions will be displaying their services and products during the week.

Each Division on display will assign a staff who will assist the people visiting their booths for any queries or requests.

3 Fiji stands with Vanuatu: Ratu Epeli

His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today emphasised that Fiji will continue to stand by Vanuatu as thousands rebuild their lives following the devastation of Cyclone Pam last month.

The Head of State said he was saddened by the news of the massive destruction left behind by the cyclone and highlighted that Fiji would continue to support relief efforts towards Vila.

?I note with deep sympathy the great suffering of our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu from Tropical Cyclone Pam last month,? he said.

?I also note with much comfort the level of support displayed by the people and the government of Fiji towards our neighbours. Natural calamities are beyond our control. What is important however is the strength that we display to help normalize the situation.?

Ratu Epeli also noted the Fijian Government?s contribution and also those of private Fijian companies and non ? governmental organisations in providing relief efforts towards those affected.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Hon. Joeli Cawaki said the Fijian Government remains committed towards assisting the people of Vanuatu.

?We will continue to assist in whatever way we can through what they request of us. I also want to thank all those companies and individuals that joined government in assisting our fellow neighbours,? Hon. Cawaki said.

4 FIJI CORRECTIONS SERVICES DONATES TOWARDS RELIEF EFFORTS FOR VANUATU

The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Hon. Inia Seruiratu this morning received $10,000 from the Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Services lieutenant colonel Iferemi Vasu that will be directed towards relief efforts in Vanuatu.

Minister Seruiratu commended the FCS for their donation and said that this contribution will greatly assist those that have been affected by the recent cyclone in Vanuatu.

?We have received other donations from the other agencies and the response has been overwhelming and we received positive reports from teams undertaking relief work in Vanuatu and so far work is progressing well,? Mr Seruiratu said.

Commissioner for Fiji Corrections Services lieutenant colonel Iferemi Vasu said the assistance would be directed towards relief efforts to help families in Vanuatu.

?This assistance is from the officers as part of their contribution towards humanitarian assistance to those that have been affected,? Mr Vasu said.

5 NEW SIGNING TO STRENGTHEN RICE PRODUCTION

The Grace Road Food Company (GRFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mataqali Tacilevu from Matacaucau village in Korovou this week as part of the Company?s efforts to reach the Government?s vision of self-sufficiency in rice production by the year 2020.

Speaking in the iTaukei language, representative of the Mataqali, Mr Nemani Seru said that they were grateful to Grace Road Food for this timely initiative.

?The signing of the MOU was made possible after a series of discussions with the company and the Ministry of Agriculture. We are fortunate that the Ministry acted as a mediator between the Mataqali (clan) and the company and are grateful to them in initiating the meeting,? he said.

Mr Seru said that they will work together with the Company to grow rice on more than 300 acres of the Mataqali land.

?Part of this land was used for grazing by the Fulton College in the past and has now been given back to the Mataqali by the iTaukei Land Trust Board.?

Grace Road Food Company managing director Daniel Kim said, the signing of the MOU marks the beginning of a partnership between the company and the Mataqali.

?The development in the area will involve a lot of time and commitment from both parties,? Mr Kim said.

PRESS RELEASE