- GOVERNMENT TO PURSUE OPPORTUNITIES TO ADDRESS CHILD LABOUR – The Fijian government will continue to pursue opportunities for resource mobilisation in tackling child labour and address issues concerning children in Fiji.
- RBF LAUNCHES AWARD FOR MICRO BUSINESS – Young job seekers have been encouraged to look at setting up their own business by tapping into micro-finance facilities available through various financial institutions.
- GOVERNMENT GIVES LEGALEGA YOUTH BUSINESS TOOLS – Government remains committed towards empowering youths around the country in assisting them towards achieving their goals says the Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou.
- CONSERVE SOIL IN ORDER TO COMBAT DEGRADATION – The Ministry for Agriculture’s [MoA], Land Resources Planning Division [LRPD] and stakeholders will be commemorating the International Year of Soils together with the World Day to Combat Desertification so as to reflect on the importance of soil in Fiji.
- MUSHROOM TRAINING FOR WEST AND CENTRAL FARMERS – As part of continued efforts to introduce the growing and cultivation of Juncao mushroom to the Fijian market, training was held for the fourth time this year at the Ministry of Agriculture’s [MoA] Legalega Research Station for farmers in the Central and Western Divisions.
- GOVERNMENT STAKEHOLDERS GIVE SUPPORT TO US NAVY IN THE NORTH – The Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea has acknowledged the long standing diplomatic relations between Fiji and the United States of America.
- GOVERNMENT TO PURSUE OPPORTUNITIES TO ADDRESS CHILD LABOUR
The Fijian government will continue to pursue opportunities for resource mobilisation in tackling child labour and address issues concerning children in Fiji.
This was highlighted by the Acting Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate while opening the World Day against Child Labour in Suva today.
“Working together in getting the right policies, institutions and operational systems with proper governance and review mechanisms in place to sustain our pursuit is very critical,” Minister Usamate said.
“This initiative requires a co-ordinated and integrated approach. Polling together of national, regional and international resources and networking opportunities are a starting,” Minister Usamate said.
Government’s commitment is reflected under section 31 of the 2013 constitution on the rights to free education; through this commitment Government has introduced child friendly policies like free education, school bus fares subsidies, free text book and free milk initiative for Year one students.
Minister Usamate highlighted that Fiji has recorded from 2011 to 2014 a total of 173 cases of child labour.
“For 2011 we had 64 cases, 64 cases for 2012, 41 cases for 2013 and only 4 cases in 2014. All 173 cases have been resolved by the Child Labour Unit of my Ministry,” Minister Usamate said.
“We have withdrawn children from child labour and have referred all these children to school with the assistance from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Ministry of Education,” he said.
Meanwhile, Government’s commitment in eradicating child labour through the ratification of the ILO( International Labour Organisation) Convention 138 on the Minimum Age Convention 182 on Worst Forms of child Labour are both reflected in the EPR 2007.
- RBF LAUNCHES AWARD FOR MICRO BUSINESS
Young job seekers have been encouraged to look at setting up their own business by tapping into micro-finance facilities available through various financial institutions.
Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Barry Whiteside, while launching the 2015 Micro Finance Awards, said evidence had shown that micro finance had lifted the standard of living for the underprivileged.
“To those looking for a job and who cannot find one, I encourage you to look at setting up your own little businesses,” he said.
“Bring out your entrepreneurial spirit and nurture it. I believe that with passion, positivity and determination, many of you can succeed and make a decent living,” Mr Whiteside said.
Furthermore, he said a new category, Best Microfinance Young Entrepreneur, will be added to the existing categories of Best Microfinance Entrepreneur- Individual, Best Microfinance Entrepreneur- Partnership and Best Microfinance Service Provider- Institution.
Mr Whiteside said it was inspirational to see how those sending their submissions for the awards had started with virtually nothing but with a little support through microfinance had been able to provide for their families, build assets and mitigate risks in their lives.
He said in 2010 RBF had issued clear guidelines for commercial banks to set-up microfinance windows to provide products and services to meet the needs of low income earners and the rural population who had for long been excluded from banking services.
Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme advisor and project manager Reuben Summerlin has applauded the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce, which the RBF is part of, for reducing the number of unbanked in Fiji by half.
He said it had been an ambitious target set in 2010 after the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy but had been made possible by the hard work and dedication of the taskforce.
Mr Summerlin said PFIP was proud to support and be associated with the microfinance awards as it was important to recognise the hard work and dedication that Fiji’s micro entrepreneurs invest in their businesses.
Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca is a member of the taskforce.
The nomination for the award ends on August 31, 2015 with the awards night to be held in early November.
- GOVERNMENT GIVES LEGALEGA YOUTH BUSINESS TOOLS
Government remains committed towards empowering youths around the country in assisting them towards achieving their goals says the Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou.
He made the comments as he handed over 100 chairs worth $3,000 to the Legalega Youth Club of Nadi which would assist them in hiring the chair out for more revenue for the club.
“The handing over of these 100 steel chairs comes in the wake of the ministry’s follow up of requests by the youth club and this handing over is symbolic of the ministry’s efforts at empowering youths,” he said.
“With this equipment, I challenge you, the Legalega Youth Club to increase your income generation through your projects and continue to work with us for your benefit while at the same time uplift your community as you stride towards the future.”
“The circumstances surrounding your youth club and the struggles you faced are in some ways similar to the challenges faced by youth clubs all around the country but in the face of it all, you have succeeded in your projects – this is the very reason why I have chosen to speak of your accomplishments to the other youth clubs,” Hon. Tuitubou said.
“Legalega Youth Club in my opinion is a beacon of hope not only for youths in the Western Division but Fiji as a whole. Therefore as you receive this assistance given to you by the Ministry this evening, remember that you have my full support and that of the ministry.”
Hon. Tuitubou said he hoped the timely boost would assist the club in its small micro enterprise project.
Legalega Youth Club is one of the most successful youth clubs in the country, having business dealing throughout the western division for weddings, birthdays and other events through its business arm in catering and décor.
- CONSERVE SOIL IN ORDER TO COMBAT DEGRADATION
The Ministry for Agriculture’s [MoA], Land Resources Planning Division [LRPD] and stakeholders will be commemorating the International Year of Soils together with the World Day to Combat Desertification so as to reflect on the importance of soil in Fiji.
Director LRPD Nacanieli Waka said the main objective of the event is to enhance greater awareness and understanding of the importance of soils to our daily living while at the same time promoting Sustainable Land Management and soil conservation from the impacts of climate change.
“Celebrations for the one day event will take place next week across all geographical divisions that is Central, Eastern, Western and Northern Divisions,” he said.
Mr. Waka said the celebration venues will be showcasing and displaying techniques of management of land resources to minimize and avoid land degradation and to display the types and chemical composition of all soils of Fiji.
The World Day to Combat Land Degradation which aligns with the United Nation Convention to Combat Degradation is held annually on the 17th of June.
Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Office together with line Ministries and Departments will take part in the celebration and more importantly key stakeholders such as farmers, agro processors and school children.
Mr Waka said it is essential to promote the proper use of land resources for sustainable development through best practices and management to avoid unnecessary degradation as soil is a medium for plant growth.
The idea of maintaining soil health, he added is to ensure food security and a healthy living for all people in Fiji.
- MUSHROOM TRAINING FOR WEST AND CENTRAL FARMERS
As part of continued efforts to introduce the growing and cultivation of Juncao mushroom to the Fijian market, training was held for the fourth time this year at the Ministry of Agriculture’s [MoA] Legalega Research Station for farmers in the Central and Western Divisions.
The Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University (FAFU) and JUNCAO Research Institute has been working closely with the MoA at Legalega to grow mushroom as it has been seen as a convenient place for demonstration purposes, marketing and product exportation.
Mushroom expert Dr Lynn Lin Dongmei said that the climate in Fiji is suitable to grow medium and high temperature mushroom species with average temperature between 18-31°C.
She said that straw mushroom and other varieties can be produced seasonally under natural condition.
“Other species like king oyster, Chinese mushroom, button mushroom and others have to be cultivated with air condition.”
Acting Director for MoA’s Research Division Dr Apaitia Macanawai is optimistic that the training has provided a platform for participants to understand the basics of cultivating mushroom.
“Mushroom is also beneficial as it is highly nutritious and will be able to support farmers maintaining food security and generate some supplementary income.”
He said that with the support of key stakeholders (including farmers), the Ministry of Agriculture plans to further develop the mushroom industry in Fiji.
One of the participants for the two day training, Dr Ram Sami Naidu from Rakiraki, Ra said that he learnt a lot about mushroom and its benefits.
He said that mushroom if grown in large scale can assist in increasing income for farmers and also reduce the high volume of mushroom that is imported in the country.
Dr Naidu said that including mushroom in one’s diet is essential as it is nutritious and has many health benefits.
- GOVERNMENT STAKEHOLDERS GIVE SUPPORT TO US NAVY IN THE NORTH
The Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea has acknowledged the long standing diplomatic relations between Fiji and the United States of America.
Speaking at the official welcoming of the Mercy team in Daku resort last night, Mr Vocea said that diplomatic relation between the two countries dates back to 1971.
“Since then the two countries have shared multi ethnic heritage and a common outlook on Pacific Island regional issues,” Mr Vocea said.
Mr Vocea said the collaboration between the two countries with the Pacific Partnership 2015 programme in Fiji has now materialized with the goodwill visit of the Mercy Ship.
“We have a lot in common, Fiji and the US belong to a number of the same International Organizations including the UN, IMF, World Banks and Asian Development Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO),” Mr Vocea said.
“We are now witnessing the largest ever humanitarian and Pacific Assistance in the Asia Pacific region since 2006 and we salute the US Navy Mercy team for the assistance rendered here in the form of humanitarian and civic action programs for the Fijian people and in particular the Fijian people in the Northern Division,” Mr Vocea said.
Mr Vocea said the teams were at the Labasa Hospital, Seaqaqa and Dreketi today, a health awareness and eyes checkups at the Ratu Ganilau park in Savusavu on the 15th and 16th.
“We give you our full support and ensure that the Northern people, business communities and government stakeholders will support you.” Mr Vocea added.