THE opening of the new Muanidevo Ice Plant owned by Natural Farm Seafood Fiji Limited is expected to assist fishermen in the Macuata and Bua coastal areas.
Situated on the coastal border between Dreketi and Bua, the plant is expected to ease problems often faced by fishermen in the areas who have to buy ice from far off Nabouwalu and Nakadrudru.
Officiating at the opening of the new facility in Dreketi yesterday, Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu labelled the project as successful, saying the effort by its Taiwanese owner Shin Ho Yu was tremendous.
Mr Bolalevu said the project, which included the construction of the seafood plant, began in 2013 with a total cost of $85,000.
"The company was registered in 2002 as a subsidiary of Taiwan Timber Company Limited based in Dreketi, Macuata," he said.
"During the company's production from 2004 to 2007, the total number of people that directly and indirectly benefited from the project was estimated at around 600 people.
"The company will provide employment opportunities to rural dwellers and fishing ground owners in areas of Vanua Levu."
Mr Bolalevu said the new seafood plant would boost accessibility to the fisheries communities, estimated at around 500 fishermen in the Macuata and Bua coastal areas.