A NEW $230,000 ice plant at Lawaqa in Nadroga is anticipated to benefit about 2000 fishermen and farmers in Sigatoka.
Officially opening the ice plant at Sigatok on Thurday, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Inia Seruiratu said the plant would open new fish marketing arrangements for the fishers to diversify.
"The main concern of government is the sustainability of our marine resources," Mr Seruiratu said.
"Fiji's economy and society is undergoing many reforms for the betterment of its people's sustenance and sustainable development from its available resources.
"The focus has been mainly to improve the livelihoods of all communities and to ensure sustaining these with established and strengthened relevant economic and social activities."
The ice plant was made possible through the partnership between the Fijian Government and the Overseas Fishery Co-operation Foundation of Japan.
Fisherman Inia Tuwere commended the government's initiative in providing the ice plant to boost their fishing business.
"We always bought ice from the shops which is too costly but I thank government for bringing the plant here in Nadroga to assist us.
"Ice is very important to us fishermen because it keeps our catch fresh and we are able to sell it at a higher price to the markets."
Mr Tuwere said fishermen would be able to utilise the provisions of the ice plant to improve their fishing business through the sale of well-preserved and high quality fish for optimum returns."