1. MINISTER VISITS FNCDP COMPLEX – The Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons will be an avenue where unfolding opportunities will eventuate, said Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar.
2. RESEARCH WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MODERNISING FIJI’S AGRICULTURE SECTOR – Research will continue to play an important role in developing and modernising Fiji’s agriculture sector.
3. FIJI’S MOLASSES FINDS NEW MARKET IN ASIA – Molasses produced by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) has new market in Asia with the first shipment already sent through the United Molasses.
4. DINING HALL BRINGS RELIEF TO STUDENTS – The completion of a dining hall at the Tagaqe District School along the coast in Nadroga has boosted the morale of students.
5. 1200 NEW HOMES BUILT BY GOVERNMENT – More than 1,200 new homes have been built by Government in the Western Division in the past 16 months as part of the Tropical Cyclone Evans rehabilitation programme benefiting more than 3000 Fijians who lost their homes from the natural disaster.
6. NA YALI KO GAU AWARDS DAY – The Ministry of Agriculture, with assistance from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), awarded 11 farmers of the Mataqali Tuiwailevu in Nacavanadi Village, Gau with farming essentials to enhance food and income security on the island.
7. NEW NAUSORI HOSPITAL PRELIMINARY WORKS UNDERWAY – The geotech drilling works for the relocation of the flood-prone Nausori Hospital to Vunivivi Hills has commenced to determine the suitability of the site.
1. MINISTER VISITS FNCDP COMPLEX
The Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons will be an avenue where unfolding opportunities will eventuate, said Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar.
Minister Akbar visited the FNCDP Complex for the first time this morning in her Ministerial capacity and encouraged the centre to maximise its potentials.
“The National Sewing Centre and the Ability to Shine Production Centre is just the beginning of the initiatives of the Ministry,” Minister Akbar said.
“With regular capacity building initiatives provided for the persons with disabilities, a gateway also opens up for them in the open market of employment opportunities.”
The Minister also urged the FNCDP staff to be strategic in the way they see things.
“Be a visionary player in the center, implement and accommodate new initiatives that will not only benefit the center but will attract other persons living with disabilities around Fiji,” Minister Akbar said.
“Be accommodative for the new recipients coming in for the sewing machines or any capacity building training program held at the center.”
Commending the Minister’s visit today, FNCDP member, Akanisi Lutu said that she was happy to meet the new Minister for Women.
“I am grateful to the Minister for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit us and share with us words of encouragement,” Mrs Lutu said.
“The Ministry of Women has also been committed in their work towards assisting us.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Mere Tuivaturogo.
“I am happy that the Minister came today and saw the work that I am doing here in the sewing centre,” Ms Tuivaturogo said.
“At the sewing centre I usually help the teacher look after the other ladies.”
2. RESEARCH WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MODERNISING FIJI’S AGRICULTURE SECTOR
Research will continue to play an important role in developing and modernising Fiji’s agriculture sector.
Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi, speaking at the official opening of the Fiji Institute of Agricultural Science symposium in Suva today, emphasised the importance of research to the sector.
“Over the years there has been significant change in the expectations of science and technology and innovations, from increasing crop and livestock productivity to creating competitive, responsive and dynamic agriculture,” Mr Ligairi said.
All these, Mr Ligairi said, directly contribute to the Millennium Development Goals.”
He pointed out the need for agriculturist to grow intellectually and operationally from just focusing on agriculture and technological research but to go beyond in providing a better understanding to rural societies and their needs.
Mr Ligairi highlighted the need to seek greater understanding of alternative pathways for rural economic development, placing role of agriculture in perspective.
“Symposiums like this one provides a platform to all those interested in advancing agriculture in Fiji, to coalesce and exchange vast experiences, innovative ideas and knowledge that will modernise the agriculture sector,” Mr Ligairi said.
Meanwhile, an agriculture consultant from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, Hisayoshi Hayashi said sustainable agriculture is the most important issue of this century.
“This means we need to learn how to use arable land continuously, how to conduct environment friendly agriculture and how to continue farming systems,” Mr Hayashi said.
He said in this century there will be a need to increase food production through Green Revolution.
With the expansion in production and trade of commodities, marked by increasing market demand for quality produce, Mr Ligairi is adamant that research programs will improve agricultural productivity and satisfy consumer demands.
3. FIJI’S MOLASSES FINDS NEW MARKET IN ASIA
Molasses produced by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) has new market in Asia with the first shipment already sent through the United Molasses.
FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said the new market has fetched better price for the corporation earned from molasses export.
“We are getting better price for our molasses and we are earning around an extra US$8 (FJD$15.35) – US$10 (FJD$19.19) per tonne from our shipments to Asia,” Mr Khan said.
“We have already sent one shipment and another shipment of 35, 000 tonnes will be leaving our shores later this month (October).”
FSC and ultimately sugarcane farmers stand to benefit from the sale of molasses at a higher price meaning a financial windfall for the country’s 15,000 growers.
In compliance with the Sugar Master Award, 70 per cent of all proceeds from sugar processing after deducting industry cost will go to the growers.
FSC earned close to $10 million from molasses sales in 2011 and Mr Khan said molasses sales continued to be a lucrative by-product of sugarcane processing.
Apart from international sales, the country’s biggest brewery Carlton Brewery and so is Rewa Dairy Co – operative that uses molasses as a supplement in cattle feed.
4. DINING HALL BRINGS RELIEF TO STUDENTS
The completion of a dining hall at the Tagaqe District School along the coast in Nadroga has boosted the morale of students.
The dining hall has been part of a package assistance to the school including a teacher’s quarters, which have been made possible through the Office of the Prime Minister during a talanoa session in Korolevu earlier this year.
“This dining hall and a new teacher’s quarters have been very timely because it is hard for teachers to live in Sigatoka or other areas due to the distance of the school,” head teachers, Ms Ela Naqaravatu said.
“The construction of the two new blocks not only provides better dining services and residence for teachers but also is indicative of Government’s commitment towards the education of Fiji’s children.”
Ms Naqaravatu said parents, teachers and students of Tagaqe District School are grateful for the Government assistance to further empower and enhance students capabilities during their education years.
“Programmes such as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and the opening of telecentres around the country have brought in another level of education for our children which will boost their knowledge before they move on to find suitable jobs,” Ms Naqaravatu added.
School Manager, Sivo Laqai says the assistance would go a long way in nurturing future leaders of Fiji.
“Government has certainly provided a level playing field and our children need to ensure that they study hard to be able to get good jobs to support their families and the nation,” Mr Laqai said
“We are also very grateful to Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama for his quick action to our needs,” he said.
5. 1200 NEW HOMES BUILT BY GOVERNMENT
More than 1,200 new homes have been built by Government in the Western Division in the past 16 months as part of the Tropical Cyclone Evans rehabilitation programme benefiting more than 3000 Fijians who lost their homes from the natural disaster.
The rehabilitation programme leaves close to 300 homes to be completed before the end of this year.
Acting Commissioner Western, Luke Moroivalu said the completion of more than a thousand homes is testament of Government’s development objectives to ensure that all Fijians are empowered to contribute positively.
While the cost of rehabilitation works is more than $2 million, Mr Moroivalu said Government has always maintained that money was not an issue.
“The Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama has always maintained that money will never be an issue if the lives of Fijians are at stake and housing is a need,” Mr Moroivalu said.
6. NA YALI KO GAU AWARDS DAY
The Ministry of Agriculture, with assistance from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), awarded 11 farmers of theMataqali Tuiwailevu in Nacavanadi Village, Gau with farming essentials to enhance food and income security on the island.
The farming implements including knives, knapsack pumps, files and weedicide cost a total of $3,300.
The farmers, who are part of the Na Yali ko Gau scheme, are engaged in the planting of dalo, yaqona, cassava, bele andvoivoi.
Na Yali ko Gau youth leader Akariva Vura said the initiative is aimed at assisting in improving the living standards of the families.
“We have drawn up a four-year plan for each farmer within the Mataqali to plant 500 dalo and yaqona, 300 cassava and 50voivoi for the betterment and improvement of the clan. When the harvesting period comes, homes will be built from the income earned from the farm,” Mr Vura said.
Senior Agriculture Officer (Lomaiviti) Nimilote Waqabaca said Na Yali ko Gau scheme is an example for the youth from other villages.
Farmer, Penioni Turaga thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and SPC for the supply of the farming implements.
“This will be used to upgrade and maintain the initial target for individual farmers and we are grateful for the help delivered to outer islands,” Mr Turaga said.
Meanwhile, the mataqali women were also recognized with handicrafts such as mats, fans and kitchen utensils.
The Na Yali ko Gau village group of the Mataqali Tuiwailevu often liaises with its youths residing in urban areas for financial and moral support.
7. NEW NAUSORI HOSPITAL PRELIMINARY WORKS UNDERWAY
The geotech drilling works for the relocation of the flood-prone Nausori Hospital to Vunivivi Hills has commenced to determine the suitability of the site.
The drilling works are expected to be completed in the next three weeks.
This was after the preliminary schematic design for the hospital was endorsed by the Health Ministry.
The main purpose for the geotech drilling is to determine the structural platforms for constructions to minimize variations on the completion of the project.
Once the analysis is completed, and the results are favorable towards the suitability of the site, the Health Ministry will begin with the next phase of construction.
The current work is expected to cost around $35,000 which is carried out by Landmark Surveyors.
The new Nausori Hospital shows Government’s commitment to improving and developing health services for the people of Nausori and nearby communities.