POVERTY will now be a thing of the past for youths of Vitawa Village in Ra following the handover of a new boat and an engine by the government.
Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said the boat would assist the youths to venture into new business, contribute towards employment and empower the villagers to move out of poverty.
"Government is committed to eradicating poverty and providing a source of income to all Fijians," Cdr Cawaki said in an Information Ministry statement.
"You deserve this boat because in the last few years, the milk fish project has been very successful.
"We need to utilise our natural resources because we are the best people to put in place best practices in ensuring its sustainability."
Cdr Cawaki said people could not rely on land leases only.
"We need to start somewhere because there are so many initiatives that are in place by the government to ensure growth for individuals, groups, and communities," he added.
A similar project was initiated in Bureiwai, Nakorotubu, in Ra last year and proved to be a successful income-generating project, yielding a weekly profit of more than $500 for the villagers.
"The market is already there," Cdr Cawaki said.
"However, we have to be consistent in our supply and that is where we can capitalise on.
"We need to be market-driven," he said.