The Hon. Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana was in the interior of Navosa on Monday and praised Nasau ex-trainees of Naga Village.
“This is probably the first village that I have been to that has 10 ex-trainees,” said Hon Delana. “And on behalf of the ministry I would like to extend my appreciation for utilising the skills you have learnt from Nasau in creating a sustainable livelihood.”
Hon. Delana has urged the ex-trainees to “use their skills collectively to bring about changes in their livelihood and the community and ensure that it results in further economic development in the interior of Fiji.”
Vika Matelolo recently graduated with a Basic Certificate in Agriculture from Nasau on July 1 this year and said; “Our main source of cash in Naga is farming and the youths have formed an united front in farming,”
“We are so fortunate that our elders are supporting us and ensuring that we create and secure our own future,” said Ms Matelolo.
Ms Matelolo said that the youths previously depended on cane-cutting for their source of income, however since 2013, the elders have decided to ensure that the youths start up their own farms.
“They have provided guidance, motivation and have stuck beside the youths for the past year to ensure that we create and sustain our farms and income received from its sales. Most of these youths have lost their parents and the remaining village elders are making sure that all youths secure their future and fully enjoy the benefits of farming,” said Vika.
Vika said Naga village has a total of nine Nasau ex-trainees, seven graduated with basic agriculture certificates while two graduated with basic carpentry.
Nadrau Tikina Representative Leveni Drodrolagi said that there is a great emphasis on farming and communal work in Naga village and they are hoping that Government will assist them in the future.
“Last year, most of these farmers earn more than $5000 just from farming and selling tomatoes alone,” said Leveni. “Our biggest challenge is the unavailability of bullocks or tractors to assist in land preparation and we hope to be assisted so our youths can expand their farms and also meet the off-season demands of vegetables in the market.”
Hon. Delana also visited Nadrau village on Monday and Nausori Highland village on Tuesday in the interior of Navosa.