1. PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES SUGAR CANE VARIETIES – Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama today launched Fiji’s newest cane varieties, the Viwa and Qamea.
2. FIJI TO HOST REGIONAL MARITIME MEETING – Fiji will host the Asia Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies meeting in Nadi from the 5th -8th of May next week.
3. PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES INTERIM SUGAR BOARD – Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama today announced that the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji now has a new interim board.
4. TAILEVU VILLAGE JOINS ANTI-VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN – Veinuqa village in the Tailevu Province was this week listed as a violence-free community by the Ministry of Women.
1. PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES SUGAR CANE VARIETIES
Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama today launched Fiji’s newest cane varieties, the Viwa and Qamea.
The two new varieties have been proven to be extremely acclimatised to Fiji’s weather as it was bred locally by the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF).
In launching the two new varieties, the Prime Minister thanked the SRIF for its efforts in producing and breeding new cane varieties to boost Fiji’s sugar sector.
“We are now developing a long term strategy to ensure that sugar cane continues to provide sustainable livelihoods for ordinary Fijians in the industry and maintains its position as our nation’s second biggest export earner,” he said.
“We have ambitious plans for the future to increase production, boost efficiency and diversify the industry.”
The launch of the two new varieties brings the total number of locally bred varieties to 19. The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to strengthening the industry which has been the mainstay of the economy for decades.
“My government is fully committed to the survival, prosperity and future viability of Fiji’s sugar industry,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
“A healthy sugar industry means a healthy Fiji for every citizen and not just the 200, 000 Fijians who are dependent on sugar and we are doing everything humanly possible to guarantee that future.”.
2. FIJI TO HOST REGIONAL MARITIME MEETING
Fiji will host the Asia Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies meeting in Nadi from the 5th -8th of May next week.
The meeting is a technical forum for senior officials of Maritime Safety Agencies in the Asia Pacific region to discuss and dialogue on maritime matters that are crucial and critical to maritime safety in the Asia Pacific region. One of the key objectives of this forum is for member countries to identify areas of promoting regional cooperation and partnership in the fields of maritime safety that can be used as leverage to assess technical cooperation support and assistance from the IMO.
The outcomes from this meet will be used as a basis for discussions with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to build and strengthen capacity for maritime agencies in the region. This includes various areas including maritime safety, security and protection of the marine environment.
The Fijian Cabinet’s decision to approve the hosting of this meeting was based on a submission by Fiji’s Minister for Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Timoci Lesi Natuva. In that Cabinet seating, the Minister highlighted that the meet would also focus on regional cooperation, protecting the marine environment, maritime safety and maritime incident response.
3. PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES INTERIM SUGAR BOARD
Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama today announced that the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji now has a new interim board.
“The new interim board will be chaired by the executive chair of the Fiji Sugar Corporation Abdul Khan and its member include the Permanent Secretary for Sugar Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi and the chief executive officer for the Sugar Cane Growers Council Sundresh Chetty,” he announced at the packed Ba Civic Centre.
“The new board will take the institute to another level given the experience and knowledge of the new board.”
The interim board has been tasked to prepare and guide the SRIF to undertaking adaptive research that meets the requirements of the Fijian sugar cane industry so that the SRIF remains relevant and ready to meet new challenges.
He also announced the new acting CEO of SRIF Sanjay Prakash.
4. TAILEVU VILLAGE JOINS ANTI-VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN
Veinuqa village in the Tailevu Province was this week listed as a violence-free community by the Ministry of Women.
The process of change began last year when this community joined hands with Ministry of Women and Fiji Police to undergo 12 months of awareness programs as part of Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
In an official event earlier this week signifying this development, the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled a billboard in front of the village depicting its new status.
Minister Luveni’s first visited the village last year where she presented a certificate of commitment to the gatekeepers committee that marked the beginning of the violence free campaign.
The village’s Soqosoqo Vakamarama president Mrs Sainimili Nitawaqa said that awareness has helped them to address the issues concerning teenagers.
“Before the campaign was introduced, there were cases of young girls getting pregnant and this was of great concern to the parents. Few of the teenage girls also eloped from home and in 2012 there were 6 teenage girls who got pregnant. And when we heard about the violence free program, we found new hope of addressing our problems.”
“Through training sessions parents were acquainted with ways to effectively communicate with teenagers on issues of sex and marriage. Parents no longer shy away from these topics, they are now able to communicate openly with their children,” Mrs Nitawaqa explained.
“We realised that by hiding these issues, we were only making it worse. But now we tell our children that there is right time for everything and help them set their priorities right particularly with their education,” Mrs Nitawaqa said.
The Ministry now plans to build a women’s centre in Veinuqa village to generate income for the women and provide a platform for continued awareness programs to uplift the lives of women and children.
So far more than 60 communities across the country have joined the violence free campaign.