1. FIJI’S ETHANOL PRODUCTION AWAITS RECOMMENDATIONS – The Fiji Sugar Corporation is awaiting recommendations from Brazil on its initial feasibility study for ethanol production in the country.
2. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MEET TO IMPROVE NATIONAL SECURITY POLICIES – Representatives from various government agencies met today for a three day department security liaison officers’ workshop to look at ways of strengthening Fiji’s national security policies and propose recommendations for emerging challenges.
3. HEALTH MINISTER URGES THE USE OF LOCAL DIETITIANS – The Ministry of Health is encouraging families around the country to contact dietitians at their nearest health facilities to get in dept information on nutrition and balanced diet.
4. TEACHERS CANNOT SERVE ON SCHOOL COMMITTEES – The Ministry of Education has issued a stern reminder to all teachers not to serve in school committees. Permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal pointed this out at a meeting of the Western Division School Management Board during the opening of the Nadi Special School this week.
5. YOUTH MINISTER LAUNCHED GOOD SAMARITAN FOUNDATION – Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto today launched the Good Samaritan Youth Foundation at the Civic Centre in Suva.
1. FIJI’S ETHANOL PRODUCTION AWAITS RECOMMENDATIONS
The Fiji Sugar Corporation is awaiting recommendations from Brazil on its initial feasibility study for ethanol production in the country.
FSC chairman Mr Abdul Khan said Brazil is known to be the largest ethanol producing country in the world.
“The Brazilians are reviewing the findings (of the study) before they send it back to us for implementation,” Mr Khan said.
He said aspects of ethanol production would be reformed according to the recommendations of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC).
“We will need to reform aspects of sugar production to incorporate the findings to be able to lift the ethanol project off the ground.”
According to a report by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) in 2012, more than half of world’s ethanol production is produced from sugar and sugar by products.
Technologically, the process of producing ethanol from sugar is simpler than converting corn into ethanol.
“The technology and direct energy costs are but one of several factors that determine the feasibility of ethanol production,” the report stated.
“Other factors include relative production costs (including feedstock), conversion rates, proximity to processing facilities, alternative prices and government policies, facility construction and processing costs.”
Fiji has show increased interest in the production of ethanol from sugar after other countries around the world proved it to be an economically feasible bi-product.
2. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MEET TO IMPROVE NATIONAL SECURITY POLICIES
Representatives from various government agencies met today for a three day department security liaison officers’ workshop to look at ways of strengthening Fiji’s national security policies and propose recommendations for emerging challenges.
The Ministry of Defence acting permanent secretary Mr Osea Cawaru highlighted that National Security arrangements in past years have been based on loose-policy making arrangements characterised by a lack of coordination and duplication of effort.
“The Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration in an effort to address this capability shortfalls has over the last three years gradually developed the requisite policy and legal frameworks needed to revitalise and reorient the national security machinery of government for current and emerging challenges for the future,” Mr Cawaru said.
“This has resulted in the first ever National Security Strategy and counter terrorism strategy endorsed by cabinet on 30th March 2010, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy and the National Information sharing framework in 2012, culminating in the signing of the National Combined Law and Security agencies MOU 10th April, 2013,” he added,
Mr Cawaru emphasised to senior government officials that through this workshop, the Ministry will ensure that government officials are provided the necessary tools to develop a supportive culture to strengthen the flow of information between government agencies and relevant stakeholders.
“The myriad of threats that we face as a country points to the fact that no-one agency is able to deal with, contain and respond to these threats,” Mr Cawaru said.
Areas that have been tabled for discussions for the next two days focus on building capacity within government to respond quickly and effectively to emerging issues and future crisis, enhancing government engagements with communities and proactively manage security risks.
3. HEALTH MINISTER URGES THE USE OF LOCAL DIETITIANS
The Ministry of Health is encouraging families around the country to contact dietitians at their nearest health facilities to get in dept information on nutrition and balanced diet.
Minister Dr Neil Sharma made this call after noticing a need for dietitians to train families including women on ways to have a proper diet.
The Health Minister said that this will greatly assist authorities in combating non communicable diseases which accounts for 80 per cent of deaths in Fiji.
“Our dietitians can hold cooking demos for mothers as well as those organizations who need it. The cooking demonstration will include ways to prepare healthy meals using local produce with less sugar and salt content”, Dr Sharma said.
“The Ministry will also demonstrate how to eat same meals but in a much healthier way. Public need to know the amount of oil, salt and sugar they have to use during cooking to decrease risks of Cardiovascular disease, High blood pressure, Diabetics and Kidney failure”, he added.
“We also need to ensure that children are nurtured in such a manner that when they grow up they are disease free and live a healthier life. Mothers should see that their children go to school with lunch box and with healthier foods inside”.
Dr Sharma also called on parents to avoid giving money to children to buy junk food from canteens.
“Parents should play an active role in ensuring that children don’t eat junk food or drink sugary drinks which will have a long term effect on their health. We should act now to ensure our children are NCD free,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Second Steps survey by World Health Organization in 2011 revealed that one out of every three Fijians have Diabetes. Previously it was one out of five.
The Ministry has also called upon relevant stakeholders, NGO’s, faith based organizations and individuals to work with government to avoid premature deaths from NCDs.
4. TEACHERS CANNOT SERVE ON SCHOOL COMMITTEES
The Ministry of Education has issued a stern reminder to all teachers not to serve in school committees.
Permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal pointed this out at a meeting of the Western Division School Management Board during the opening of the Nadi Special School this week.
Dr Lal also highlighted the need to revise school constitution by management every five years.
“The school constitution must be reviewed every five years and it must be functional. Schools with outdated constitution must do some immediate work,” Dr Lal said.
Dr. Brij Lal said the district and divisional education officers have been delegated powers to attend to cases from within their district as well as have the authority over transfer of teachers.
“Education officers at the district offices have been delegated the powers to deal with cases and that of transferring teachers within their districts. These services have been brought closer to the community. Now, you do not have to go to Suva for these services,” Dr Lal said.
5. YOUTH MINISTER LAUNCHED GOOD SAMARITAN FOUNDATION
Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto today launched the Good Samaritan Youth Foundation at the Civic Centre in Suva.
The Good Samaritan Youth Foundation is a Non Government Organisation established by Mr and Mrs Albert Wong to assist needy youth and women in the community.
During the launch Mr Naupoto highlighted the importance of helping youths to build their capacity as positive contributors to nation building.
“The Good Samaritan Youth Foundation or any other Foundation doing similar work, helps to mould life. It’s really life that we are trying to help nurture to shape and to help,” Mr Naupoto said.
“It is sad nowadays to see that this precious thing called life goes to waste when it is not moulded properly, when it is not shaped or taught properly. Life is a precious thing and we should not allow it to go to waste,” he added.
Founder of the Foundation Mr Wong said the launch signals the beginning of a new era in social work.
“It is a beginning of a new chapter in our social work. It gives us a platform to launch out into the deep and implement the vision that God has laid in our hearts,” Mr. Wong said.
Mr Wong said young minds are full of potential and can create good future leaders through constructive guidance and governance.
Mr Naupoto also launched the Foundation’s new website donated by Web Media Company.
Web Media managing director Mr Steve Reid said the donation was an opportunity for the organisation to contribute towards their social accountability and responsibility.