Minister Semi Koroilavesau at the handing over of woodworking tools and machines to recipients under the Forest Subsidy Assistance Scheme today.Photo: DEPTFO.
Six individuals have been assisted this year under the Government’s Forest Subsidy Assistance worth $50,000.
Minister for Fisheries, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau today handed over woodworking tools and machines under this scheme. Since 2016, 12 people have been assisted through this programme.
“Wood carvers have been for a very long time neglected in terms of real assistance that had been given out by government, such as those that are happening in other forestry mainstream areas such as logging, swamping, log transportation, cabinet making and in eco-tourism,” Minister Koroilavesau said.
The Minister added that this programme, therefore, provides the leverage that is needed in order to open up the door and create the opportunity to those with skills and key potentials for wood carving in order to lift them up to another level in production.
A total of $50,000 was spent on acquiring these specialized value adding machines from the 2016-2017 budget, and the government has also set aside an additional $50,000 for further assistance to local wood carvers who may need assistance in the next financial year.
Minister Koroilavesau also highlighted that the activities of the recipients will be closely monitored and government still reserves the right to hold them accountable should these machines be misused.
While thanking the government for this assistance, one of the recipients Sukulu Soko from Ogea, Lau said he will develop products from bamboo resulting in the formation of a company.
He added that the machines he received today will enable him to increase the quality and productivity of bamboo made products