1. AGRICULTURE POLICY TO GUIDE GOVERNMENT REFORMS – As part of continuing efforts to modernise Fiji’s agricultural sector, a new policy is now being formulated by both the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and International Organisation (FAO).
2. LOCAL MUSIC INDUSTRY URGED TO TAP INTO “FIJIAN MADE-BUY FIJIAN CAMPAIGN” – Players in Fiji’s music industry have been encouraged to take advantage of “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign” initiative.
3. 2000 LABASA RESIDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM NEW RESERVOIR – A water reservoir, which will begin construction this year in Labasa by the Water Authority of Fiji, will directly benefit more than 2,000 individuals in the Northern Division.
4. MET CELEBRATIONS TO ENGAGE FIJI YOUTH – Engaging Fiji’s youth to improve their knowledge on Fiji’s meteorological sector will be key priority at this year’s World Meteorological Day.
5. FIJI FINANCIAL REFORMS PRESENTED AT INTERNATIONAL MEET – The Fijian Government is committed towards financial literacy among all Fijians and this has led to some remarkable initiatives that have been implemented, says the Reserve Bank of Fiji governor, Barry Whiteside.
1 AGRICULTURE POLICY TO GUIDE GOVERNMENT REFORMS
As part of continuing efforts to modernise Fiji’s agricultural sector, a new policy is now being formulated by both the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and International Organisation (FAO).
Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Inia Seruiratu said this is a first for Fiji and will be guiding document to build modern a agriculture sector.
Mr Seruiratu said that the policy will also allow for an organised system of producing, processing and marketing crops and livestock.
“This document will also develop an integrated production, processing transport infrastructure and support system,” Minister Seruiratu said.
“Improving delivery of agriculture support system and enhancing capabilities to generate funds and secure investments.”
He said that various challenges including Fiji’s high dependency on imported food often hinders market access for local producers in the agriculture sector.
The Minister highlighted that agriculture development is complex and requires ongoing research and development to ensure that Fiji keeps abreast of new techniques.
Some other solutions, he said, were, “Promotion of young farmers’ trainings, recognition of industry priorities by government and the provision of support to medium-sized entrepreneurs and exporters with existing market protocols”.
“We need to address such issues such as pests and diseases, off-season production and also tackle issues such as the effects of climate change and natural disasters on food production,” he said.
2 LOCAL MUSIC INDUSTRY URGED TO TAP INTO “FIJIAN MADE-BUY FIJIAN CAMPAIGN”
Players in Fiji’s music industry have been encouraged to take advantage of the “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign” initiative.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary, Shaheen Ali, while speaking to local musicians and artists at the Fiji Music Awards Night over the weekend, urged them to work together to establish the “Fijian Crafted” brand within the music industry.
Mr Ali said the Fijian Government’s “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign” is an initiative that has the ability to bring much-needed economic recognition to the sector and also provides an effective branding platform.
He said that the “Fijian Crafted” brand and logo, which was launched in June last year, has huge benefits for the music industry here.
“I firmly believe that the brand has the ability to promote Fijian music and artists, especially amongst our tourism market. “Fijian Crafted” is a brand that identifies and benchmarks quality, standards and skilled artistry and talent,” Mr Ali said.
“The Logo differentiates products and talents created in Fiji, differentiating it from overseas products that are imported and sold locally. It is not limited to handicrafts and can be expanded to encompass traditional music and songs as well.”
The permanent secretary highlighted that the “Fijian Crafted” brand has an immense potential to protect and promote Fiji’s traditional musical knowledge and at the same time, benefit local artists.
“The logo will elevate your marketing and brand your product so that your music is differentiated as authentic local music.
“Let’s work together to establish the “Fijian Crafted” brand within the music industry. In a year’s time, I would like to see the “Fijian Crafted” logo proudly displayed on CD cases and promotional material across the country,” Mr Ali added.
Mr Ali reiterated the Fijian Government’s strong intent to help promote the country’s rich and beautiful music tradition to the world and protect it for future generations.
Meanwhile, the “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign”, which was launched in 2011, has licensed 161 companies and more than 700 products to use one of the eight logos that include Fijian Made, Fijian Sewn, Fijian Product, Fijian Grown and Fijian Packed logos.
3 2000 LABASA RESIDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM NEW RESERVOIR
A water reservoir, which will begin construction this year in Labasa by the Water Authority of Fiji, will directly benefit more than 2,000 individuals in the Northern Division.
The Authority’s Northern Regional manager, Romulusi Mataitoga said the construction of the Rara reservoir will also benefit the residents of Tabia who have been without proper water supply for years.
“Tabia will do away with the traditional ways of fetching water, and they will be connected to our reticulation system,” Mr Mataitoga said.
Residents in this area are currently depending on bore holes and water wells.
For 60 year old Raj Kali of Lagi in Tabia, this project has been long overdue. He said that this development will be an enormous boost for him and the next generation as they will also receive fresh clean water supply.
Other projects confirmed for the Division is a pumping main of 150mm being relocated and replacing the existing pumping main line from a raw water well to a reservoir in Seaqaqa.
4 MET CELEBRATIONS TO ENGAGE FIJI YOUTH
Engaging Fiji’s youth to improve their knowledge on Fiji’s meteorological sector will be key priority at this year’s World Meteorological Day.
This year’s celebrations will be held on the 28th of March with the theme “Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth”.
“This will help plan and implement lasting solutions to mitigate the effect on their lives, livelihoods and environment,” the Fiji Meteorological Services director, Alipate Waqaicelua said.
The Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities will be hosting this event from the Suva Meteorological Office in Vatuwaqa.
The celebration will also have an Open Day at the Suva Weather Office for the general public and media organisations are invited to ensure the rest of Fiji celebrates this global event.
5 FIJI FINANCIAL REFORMS PRESENTED AT INTERNATIONAL MEET
The Fijian Government is committed towards financial literacy among all Fijians and this has led to some remarkable initiatives that have been implemented, says the Reserve Bank of Fiji governor, Barry Whiteside.
He made the comments while addressing the 12th Alliance of Financial Inclusions Pacific Islands Working Group meeting at the Sheraton Resort and Spa in Nadi today.
“In the last two quarters, we have been able to accomplish a number of initiatives and this is dues to the fact that Government is committed towards financial literacy for all Fijians and this has speed up the work for us,” Mr Whiteside said.
“The National Financial Literacy Strategy for Fiji has been endorsed by the Government for implementation, we hosted the inaugural National Microfinance Awards during the Pacific Microfinance Week, which a number of you witnessed first-hand and we have finalised the Consumer Protection Pre-Disclosure (CPPD) template, which will be implemented by our Licensed Financial Institutions in the coming quarter.”
He said the Pacific has also come a long way and has now made inroads to ensuring that all countries have in place financial literacy programmes for its people.
“It is always a proud moment when our Pacific region is singled out and used as a focal point when it comes to discussions pertaining to financial inclusion. As a regional group we have made a lot of inroads since we started in 2009 and we must continue our bond in order to stay ahead,” he said.
“As a group, the way we work together can only be characterised as the Pacific way. I urge you all to continue our collaborative efforts and benefit from this peer learning experience.”
Attended by senior financial policy makers from the region the meeting will look at how the growing body supports the maxim of building inclusive financial sectors as a catalyst for Financial and Economic Stability.
“Financial inclusion supports development, contributes to an efficient financial system and enables all members of the community, especially the marginalised and the poor, to improve their livelihoods and thus empowering them to effectively contribute to the economy,” Mr Whiteside said.
“All this supports the UN Millennium Development goals of halving, by 2015, the portion of the world population that live in extreme poverty and it is clear that we are also seeing changes in the landscape of central banking in recent years.”