ABOUT 60 women's groups from 54 villages in the Province of Bua will benefit from a new resource centre that will provide a stage for income generation.
Opened by the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama in Nabouwalu on Friday, the resource centre is equipped with sewing machines, a generator for emergencies and enough space for women to create and sell their handiwork.
According to the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, the core product from the centre will be sewing of school uniforms of students attending 27 primary schools, five secondary schools and one infant school in the Bua Province.
Soqosoqo Vakamarama o Bua president Laisa Lewanavanua said the resource centre would bring together women of Bua especially those who lived far away from Nabouwalu.
"The main problem for the women of Bua is distance," she said.
"So many of our women groups live so far away from each other and for many years, we found it difficult to visit all of them.
"But with this new resource centre, all of our women will have a meeting place where they can visit and bring with them what they have created to sell and earn money."
She said the resource also opened doors for prospective markets for the women of Bua.
"We didn't really have a market for the items that were made by our women.
"It was difficult for them to create all of these items but have no one to sell it to — the resource centre opens that door for us."
While opening the resource centre, Rear Admiral Bainimarama explained an available market would be provided to the women under the Buy Fijian Made program.
"It doesn't end here because there is no point in producing something worthwhile without linking that product to the marketplace — in other words, introducing the seller to potential buyers.
"That is why my government has adopted an integrated approach to the marketing of items made by small or big producers under the Buy Fijian Made program.
"The Ministry of Industry and Trade is specifically charged with teeing people up with the market. And this includes a category called Fijian Sew.
"So I ask you all to strive for excellence in what you produce, to make these items as attractive as you can to enable you to get the highest price you can."
The resource centre cost a total of $31,000.