THE Naleba Youth Training Centre in Labasa has been eyed as a potential site for the development of Fiji's very own Barefoot College to train women and youths as solar engineers.
This could cancel the need for women to travel to India to study the engineering course.
The centre will provide training opportunities for the country and the region. As part of her three-day north tour, Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni visited the college and held discussions with the management about the proposed plan.
"It's being proposed to develop a centre here in Naleba," she said.
"This will mean more opportunities for rural communities. Macuata is a big province as it starts from Dreketi right up to Udu Point and most villages and settlements are without electricity supply, so having the centre will enhance the use of solar electrification."
She said pictures of the infrastructure have been taken and would be sent to Barefoot College in India for a fair idea on infrastructural development.
Roko Tui Macuata Sitiveni Lalibuli said: "Macuata needs developments of this nature and this project will bring hope to the rural communities."
Ministry of Youth and Sports divisional head Jone Soko said the centre would empower women and youths in the North.
"The Naleba Youth Centre was established in 2001 and so far around 500 youths have been trained in agricultural production," he said.
"The establishment of the college will further boost the vision of the centre and provide employment to women and youths."