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Fiji Time: 10:59 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Rural urban drift of youths a regional problem

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YOUTH migration from rural communities to urban centres is not unique to Fiji.

Senior journalists from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga shared with Fijian counterparts their experiences after seeing the problem first-hand during a visit to Narewa Village in Ra last week.

"This is a reality in the Solomon Islands," said Walter Nalangu, manager for News and Current Affairs at the Solomon Broadcasting Corporation.

"Youths are moving in large numbers from villages to urban centres enticed by bright lights and better paying jobs and this has caused a lot of problems in the city and town areas."

Pippin Vuvui Fotu, a reporter with the Tonga Broadcasting Commission, said: "Youths are moving from rural to urban centres in Tonga but it's not always for better jobs.

"Sometimes they migrate just for something different.

"They would rather be in the city than utilising the land in their traditional homes."

The acting director of the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat for Pacific Community, Inoke Ratukalou, said the challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories was to entice youths to pursue studies in agriculture.

"We have to get them interested in farming to ensure we have farmers ready to take over from the current generation," he said.

"We have to make them aware of the possibilities. We have to make farming attractive," said Mr Ratukalou.