1. FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR RURAL POPULATION VITAL – The Ministry of Finance will collaborate with the Reserve Bank of Fiji to promote the idea of financial literacy in the rural areas by participating in their Kadavu expo this week.
2. SEAWEED PRODUCTION TO INCREASE – Government is targeting 250 tonnes of seaweed to be supplied to foreign markets as a result of the growing demand for seaweed in the global market for next year.
3. 200, 000 FIJIANS ASSISTED THROUGH CYCLONE REHAB PROGRAMME – More than 200, 000 Fijians have been assisted through Government’s cyclone rehabilitation programme since December last year.
4. RAVIRAVI PROJECTS NEARS COMPLETION – Government is committed to completing all development projects in the district of Raviravi on the island of Beqa before the beginning of the last quarter this year.
5. CANE SUPPLY PICKS UP – The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is urging farmers to continue the momentum of cane supply to mills around the country as the crushing season enters its second month of crushing.
1 FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR RURAL POPULATION VITAL
The Ministry of Finance will collaborate with the Reserve Bank of Fiji to promote the idea of financial literacy in the rural areas by participating in their Kadavu expo this week.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr Filimoni Waqabaca, who will accompany the RBF team travelling to Kadavu on Tuesday, said it was important to drive through the salient points of budgeting and ultimately saving for “rainy days” which at the heart of financial literacy. It also presents an opportunity to talk about the developments that Government has been doing and identify areas which may need Government attention in these regions.
“We are working in joint collaboration with the central bank as their aim of making the rural populace financially literate is shared by the Ministry so it is with this mutual aim we will be part of the contingent travelling to Kadavu,” he said.
Mr Waqabaca said Government was keen to work with other financial institutions and stakeholders to drive the message of the need to spend wisely, economise and save to ensure that unexpected eventualities in the future can be taken care of.
The Ministry aims to spread the value of prudence when dealing with ones finances as it does with the Government coffers which they look after.
The tour will also appraise the communities on the types of financial programmes and services available to them through presentations by the various financial institutions that will be present at the expo.
The 60 member team that will tour Kadavu will raise awareness on the various financial services and programs available and highlight the importance of financial literacy for personal and community well-being.
The public can visit the expo from July 24 when the representatives will be presenting at Kavala village ground, then at Namalata District School Ground on July 25 before the tour wraps up at Daviqele village ground on July 26.
As part of the national plans to support the micro, small and medium enterprise sector and assist those in rural areas to access services and programs that can support sustainable livelihoods and address poverty, the RBF has held 13 of such expositions around Fiji in the past three years.
The one day expo will include displays by the various stakeholders with organised sessions on microfinance, small to medium enterprises and financial literacy.
Schools and villagers nearby are encouraged to be there as the expos have something for everyone with a special attraction that will be popular with the children and the young at heart will be “Vuli”, the financial literacy turtle mascot, who will make a special appearance at the expos.
2 SEAWEED PRODUCTION TO INCREASE
Government is targeting 250 tonnes of seaweed to be supplied to foreign markets as a result of the growing demand for seaweed in the global market for next year.
This was revealed to villagers of Sawakasa, in Tailevu, by the permanent secretary for Fisheries and Forests, Mr Inoke Wainiqolo who recently closed the Seaweed Value Adding training workshop.
“The target that has been set by Government for exporting seaweed is 250 tonnes for 2014,” Mr Wainiqolo said.
Mr Wainiqolo stated that there was a high demand in seaweed and that Government was trying to improve local seaweed production to meet the markets demand. He added that with the introduction of such training programs around to villages around the country, Government was confident of meeting its set target for next year.
“Government is therefore optimistic that with the completion of this one week training workshop, Sawakasa will be able to assist us in meeting our 250 tonnes of seaweed.
“This government is committed to bringing these types of training to assist ordinary Fijians to improve livelihoods and also to encourage income generating opportunities” said the permanent secretary. He also challenged the villagers to realise their potential and to make full use of the knowledge that they had learnt.
“Your produce will be bought at your doorstep as the markets will easily be accessible and therefore the onus is on you to produce,” he said.
Mr Wainiqolo also thanked the experts from Indonesia who conducted the workshop which was a joint venture between the Government of Indonesia, the Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.
3 200, 000 FIJIANS ASSISTED THROUGH CYCLONE REHAB PROGRAMME
More than 200, 000 Fijians have been assisted through Government’s cyclone rehabilitation programme since December last year.
Following hurricane Evan late last year, major parts of the country sustained damages including homes to various Fijians and households.
Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki says the rebuilding process is still continuing with homes and schools still being built.
“The assistance have been in various forms such as agriculture, education, homes and other forms but this is just a small way of assisting our fellow Fijians to put their lives back in order,” he said.
“Work is continuing in the outer islands especially in the Yasawa Group which was the worst affected and we have recently handed over 10 homes bringing the total number of homes built in the western division to 72,” Cdr Cawaki said.
“However, this is not the end. Soldiers are still working on dormitories, dining halls and nursing stations in the rural areas to put services back to normalcy.”
The Agriculture department which had provided seedlings and cuttings immediately after the cyclone is also doing follow up checks to ensure that the seedlings have been put to good use.
“The Divisional Planning Officer Western (Luke Moroivalu) returned from the islands over the weekend where he visited the villages to see if assistance have been put to good use – and we are happy to report that the villages have made inroads with the small assistance provided.”
Phase 3 of the rehabilitation programme is still ongoing.
4 RAVIRAVI PROJECTS NEARS COMPLETION
Government is committed to completing all development projects in the district of Raviravi on the island of Beqa before the last quarter of this year.
This was the message conveyed to villagers by Commissioner Central, Lieutenant Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou during a recent tour of the island.
Government projects currently underway in the district include the construction of a nursing station, nursing quarters, and school dormitories at the Beqa Yanuca Secondary School.
“We are targeting the end of August to mid-September to complete the construction of these projects,” Commissioner Tuitubou said.
He said that the projects that “had long been in the pipeline needed to be completed before the commencement of other development plans”.
“We would like to complete all unfinished projects before embarking on future development works that we would like to work on and that is why we have sought the assistance of the engineers from the RFMF.”
With the building materials to be sent to the district next week, he urged villagers to assist government and military engineers in the construction of the projects to hasten its completion.
“We need your assistance to complete the various development projects in your district and to help in the construction of the nursing station and the facilities at the school.
The principal of Beqa Yanuca Secondary School, Alena Raqitawa praised government’s efforts to improve the quality of education on the island through the construction of the dormitories and valuation block.
“I would like to thank the Government for helping these families in bringing education to them and making it more accessible to Beqa and Yanuca Island,” Ms Raqitawa said.
5 CANE SUPPLY PICKS UP
The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is urging farmers to continue the momentum of cane supply to mills around the country as the crushing season enters its second month of crushing.
FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan says so far the four mills have crushed a total of 275, 000 tonnes of cane and produced in excess of 26, 200 tonnes of raw sugar in the first month of crushing.
“The mills are going well and we have picked up crushing especially after a few niggling breaks but we are hopeful of meeting our targets,” he said.
“However, I still would like to urge farmers to continue supplying cane to the mills on a timely basis so that there is no more standing cane at the end of the crushing season.”
He added that the cane to sugar ratio had also improved compared to last year.
“The Tonne Cane to Tonne Sugar (TCTS) ratio has also improved to 10:1 which means a slight improvement and we will continue to find ways of improving this to bring it even lower to around 7.5 or 8,” Mr Khan said.
Meanwhile, he also clarified the issue regarding the increase in pay for workers in the industry.
“I would like to clarify to the workers that the pay rise has been discussed with the workers some time and we had told them of the review that was currently being made. What the politicians and the unions are doing is trying to twist it to show that the rise was because of them,” he added.
“The workers knew that a pay rise was on its way and the rise had nothing to do with the unions.”