A 2013 World Bank Report discussed at the Ra Provincial Council meeting yesterday revealed the province had the most number of people living below the poverty line in Fiji.
"This means Ra is the poorest province in Fiji," said Ra provincial administrator Kelepi Kubunameca.
He said this should be an eye opener to everyone because of the huge potential that existed for income-generating activities in the province.
The report showed 17,157 people in Ra lived below the poverty line and are or were engaged in mostly subsistence activities with no steady income.
"It is important that I present this today so people can realise the economic state of the province as a whole," said Mr Kubunameca.
"Ra is a place with a vast pool of natural resources which could be used to benefit the people in income- generating activities."
He said the province could not continue to rely on government handouts and must wake up.
Mr Kubunameca hoped the people of Ra would realise why the authorities were continually pushing for agricultural development, the establishment of mariculture projects, improvements in the cane industry and also developments in tourism for the province.