- MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE RECEIVED EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE FROM UNDP – Farmers will now have the opportunity to negotiate for better prices and get their produce sold to markets at a higher price thanks to the development of a Market Information System (MIS) for Fiji.
- NEW PARTNERSHIP SIGNING TO BENEFIT WIDOWS – A new Memorandum will be signed this week between the Lifebread-Stay Connected Fiji (Limited) and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to empower the widows in Fiji.
- MINISTER SERUIRATU CALLS FOR UNITY IN PURSUIT OF DEVELOPMENT – The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Mr Inia Seruiratu has urged the various Tikina representatives (Mata ni Tikina) of the Province of Ra to be committed and serve their communities with truth and vigilance.
- 615,000 tonnes of sugarcane forecasted for this crushing season – The present forecast of sugarcane to be crushed this season is approximately 615,000 tonnes as the mill looks forward to a positive season.
- MINISTER SHARES VALUES WITH NALAWA YOUTH – The Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto told the youth of Nalawa district to always stop and show an act of kindness when an opportunity arises in life.
- Exemptions made to Food & Safety Amendment Regulation 2012 – The Health Ministry’s Central Board of Health (CBH) has granted additional exemption to the Food and Safety (amendment) Regulation 2012 with regards to food labeling.
- DEVELOPMENT TRAINING FOR NAIKORO YOUTHS The Ministry of Youth and Sports last week held a Seeds of Success (SOS) training at Nubuyanitu village for the youth of Naikoro district in the interior of Navosa.
- Businesses cautioned on impersonator health inspector– the Health Ministry is cautioning business operators of a man pretending to be a health inspector.
1 MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE RECEIVED EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE FROM UNDP
Farmers will now have the opportunity to negotiate for better prices and get their produce sold to markets at a higher price thanks to the development of a Market Information System (MIS) for Fiji.
The Ministry of Agriculture was fortunate to have been considered by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as one of the country in the three African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) sub regions to which the MIS will be implemented.
A handover ceremony conducted recently between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Deputy Resident Representative Ms. Akiko Fuji and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Mr Ropate Ligairi witnessed the presentation of the MIS equipment and software.
Mr Ligairi said that this MIS web-based “Inforshare” system was developed for the Pacific and Caribbean regions with the initial implementation in Fiji.
“I do acknowledge and appreciate UNCTAD for assisting us in developing this project under your Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) and piloting this in Fiji and I believe is also the first in the Pacific region,” Mr Ligairi said.
The Ministry of Agriculture was earmarked to have the installation of such electronic equipment, a tool used for the collection and the processing of price and market data to improve the capability of ordinary farmers, buyers, exporters and even the staff of the Ministry in analyzing price and market situations.
Inforshare is a tool for information-sharing, and is a flexible database system for gathering and sharing information on commodity prices including farm prices and export and import values.
It can also include data on intermediate costs such as transportation and storage as well as information on national quality standards.
Mr Ligairi said that this system is partly a communal service and somewhat restricted to partners who have agreed to participate.
Poor farmers have little chance of getting a fair price for their produce if they don’t know how much markets beyond their villages are willing to pay.
“The Ministry recognizes the tremendous opportunities of this project and is looking forward to refocus on the initial setting of the project proposal and will try to furnish it and filter some components that can be helpful at the Ministry,” he added.
2 NEW PARTNERSHIP SIGNING TO BENEFIT WIDOWS
A new Memorandum will be signed this week between the Lifebread-Stay Connected Fiji (Limited) and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to empower the widows in Fiji.
The official agreement signing will take place between the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta and Lifebread’s Fiji Director, Mrs Dorinda Work.
While explaining about the new MOU, Dr Koroivueta said the new agreement is in line with the government’s commitment to alleviate poverty by empowering the widows in Fiji.
“Aligned to the Fijian government’s goal of reducing poverty to a negligible level, the Ministry seeks to further enhance the strategies on addressing poverty through partnership with relevant stakeholders.
“The partnership with Lifebread Stay Connected is a platform that will empower the disadvantaged women through capacity building programs and self-sufficient livelihood initiatives coordinated through the existing programs on poverty alleviation,” Dr Koroivueta said.
Ms Work says that work has started on a million dollar Lifebread Stay Connected Fiji International Prayer, Healing and Widows Centre in Teidamu, Lautoka.
“The project is supported by the government of Fiji and following the completion of the construction of the project, Lifebread will provide accommodation and training opportunities to disadvantaged widows,” she said.
More details of the partnership will be revealed at the official signing at 12 pm on Friday 11th April at the Ministry’s headquarters in Suva.
3 MINISTER SERUIRATU CALLS FOR UNITY IN PURSUIT OF DEVELOPMENT
The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Mr Inia Seruiratu, has urged the various Tikina representatives (Mata ni Tikina) of the Province of Ra to be committed and serve their communities with truth and vigilance.
The Minister officiated at the opening of the Ra Provincial Council Meeting this morning and was an opportunity for him to highlight government’s development projects in the province including upcoming projects.
“The government continues in its efforts to develop and cater to assist the province of Ra in terms of development of infrastructure, education and welfare”, the Minister said.
“These developments include road upgrades, water supply, electricity, education and health. There are also directs funds to government ministries who serve the people in various districts.”
“This year, in 2014, electricity projects in the pipeline worth $3 million is to cater for people living in the areas from Tavua and Korovou including Dobuilevu to Balekinaga and other plans”.
“It is your role as the Ra Province to unite and work together for the good all the races. Your decisions as representatives in this meeting will benefit the future generation.
Minister Seruiratu addressed the issue of protection of iTaukei land and called on the representatives to be aware of the laws under the 2013 Constitution in safeguarding and protecting iTaukei land.
He also outlined the progress of the Dream City project in Yaqara and the $1.2 million that was given by the Yaqara Pastoral Company to the government for this development.
As the Minister responsible for Disaster Management, he reminded the Council on the need for communities in the province to always take a proactive approach before a natural disaster strikes.
4 615,000 tonnes of sugarcane forecasted for this crushing season
The present forecast of sugarcane to be crushed this season is approximately 615,000 tonnes as the mill looks forward to a positive season.
Fiji Sugar Corporation Executive chairman Abdul Khan said this is the forecast at the moment for the Labasa Mill for mid June.
“Our present forecast stands at approximately 615,000 tonnes of sugarcane to be processed and our present tentative date is around mid- June subject to cane maturity as well as other factors”.
Mr Khan said the Labasa Sugar Mill is also going through the normal process of repair and maintenance so that the mill is ready for the coming cane processing season.
“And as per the mills, the rail system is also undergoing maintenance and repair so that the system is ready for the coming cane processing season”.
Meanwhile; the Labasa mills also targets to increase its sugar cane production by 1.0 million by 2020, to introduce the cane quality payment system, upgrade the railway transportation infrastructure, large scale farming, introduce mechanical harvesters and sugar refining.
Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said they will work together before the harvesting and crushing season and look into each sugarcane sectors.
5 MINISTER SHARES VALUES WITH NALAWA YOUTH
The Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto told the youth of Nalawa district to always stop and show an act of kindness when an opportunity arises in life.
Mr Naupoto was at Nalalawa village in Ra on Friday (4th April) to close the Seeds of Success training organised by the ministry for the youth of Tobu, Rokovuaka, Nawaca, Dama and Nalalawa villages.
The week-long training was attended by 34 young people and adults from the five villages.
“When you have an opportunity to show an act of kindness to someone, don’t walk past it,” said the Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto.
“The saying ‘one good turn deserves another’ is true and if you do good to someone somewhere, you will be rewarded with your kindness later in life. Learn to respect and be kind in your respective villages to your elders, women and the younger children.”
“This training was brought to you not because you are bad, but because we want to revive and rekindle the goodness you all have inside you,” added Mr Naupoto.
Nalalawa village headman Alivereti Waqa said; “The training was timely and it has shed new light on the young people of the villages.”
“It will really empower them and has given them confidence of their abilities, talents and more confidence to face their future,” Waqa said.
Meanwhile, Mr Naupoto had also stressed to the elders present that “they have to use their wisdom to give directions to the young people”.
“We seem to be good at criticising the young people than guiding them. We need to use our god-given wisdom and provide timely instructions and directions so they are not lost,” Mr Naupoto added.
6 Exemptions made to Food & Safety Amendment Regulation 2012
The Health Ministry’s Central Board of Health (CBH) has granted additional exemption to the Food and Safety (amendment) Regulation 2012 with regards to food labeling.
Amendments to Regulation 22 of the Food and Safety regulation were made by the Central Board of Health in 2012 to retain and repel certain contents and features of food labels.
Now, the nutrition information panel on food labels will retain trans fatty acids, sodium, sugar and total fat while saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol has been repealed.
Font size 12 has also been repealed from the Food & Safety (Amendment) regulation 2012.
All food business operators will now adhere to regulation 22 and 23 (b) of the Food & Safety regulation 2009 which states “statements required to appear on the label by virtue of this regulation shall be clear, prominent, indelible and readily legible by the consumer under normal conditions of purchase and use.
The implementation date for this amendment regulation has also been postponed to 1st January 2015. All other provisions of regulation 22 & 23 (b) are retained.
Meanwhile the Food and Safety (amendment) regulation 2012 was gazetted after consultations with the Food Business operators (FBO).
7 YOUTH TRAINING FOR NAIKORO YOUTHS
The Ministry of Youth and Sports last week held a Seeds of Success (SOS) training at Nubuyanitu village for the youth of Naikoro district in the interior of Navosa.
The training was attended by 32 young people and youth workers from Navitilevu, Korolevu, Naikoro, Vatubalavu, Nukuilau and Nubuyanitu villages.
The training which started on Monday (31st March) ended on Friday (April 4th) and was closed by the Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports Mr Josefa Sania.
Permanent Secretary Josefa Sania said; “The ministry is dedicated to ‘reaching and enriching’ youths in the most remote areas of Fiji and distribute Government’s programs and developments evenly.”
“Early this year such trainings were conducted in Yasawa, Nairai and in the interior of Namosi and we will be conducting more in such remote areas later this year,” said Sania.
“The ministry is dedicated to providing targeted developments and assistance to remote areas that is conducive to their environment to improve their livelihoods.”
“Most such remote areas are blessed with abundance of natural resources, and we aim to empower young people to appreciate and turn their resources into wealth for their livelihoods,” added Sania.
SOS trainer and retired school teacher Mrs Aliti Cavasiga said; “The youths have responded well to the training and have shown great desire for development and to becoming successful in life.”
“They have realised the importance of realising their self-worth and how to use their resources and turn them into wealth for their benefit.”
She added that the training and participants received an overwhelming support from the village elders and also a 62-year-old attended the training as a participant.
Navosa youth worker Isikeli Kuruilaselevu said the training will indeed change the young people’s mindset in the district and he is optimistic of a better future.
“The feedbacks of the training are positive and the young people are determined to forget their past and move into the future with a positive attitude,” said Kuruilaselevu.
8 Businesses cautioned on impersonator health inspector
The Health Ministry is cautioning business operators of a man pretending to be a health inspector.
Reports have been received that this person visits businesses obtaining money under the pretext of being a health inspector and demands to sight the business license before inspecting the premises.
This person also informs the trader that his two colleagues are in the area inspecting other businesses. While at the same time, demands that $15 be paid so that the Health Ministry can issue a chart/poster of how to operate the business.
The Health Ministry advises all business operators to check for valid photo identification from persons that pose as health inspectors.
Traders are encouraged to report any such persons impersonating as a health inspector or officer to the nearest police station.