Fiji Time: 4:39 AM on Saturday 22 July

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Case of rural neglect

Nasik Swami
Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE Fiji Labour Party believes the neglecting of rural areas in the past decade has created serious social problems for the country.

Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Fiji was once termed an agricultural country with 70 per cent of people residing in rural areas, engaged in agricultural activities.

"This demography has changed rapidly with more than 50 per cent of the population now living in towns and cities," Chaudhry claimed. He said the high influx into urban areas reflected rural neglect in the past eight years, coupled with the sharp decline in major agricultural commodities such as sugar cane and copra.

"Some 20 per cent of our population now live as squatters on the fringes of towns and cities, creating critical housing problems for municipal authorities.

"The last Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) in 2009 shows rural poverty at a record high with 70 per cent of the people in rural areas now classified as poor," he claimed.

He said the party believed rural enhancement must be the major focus of any national development policy.

"It has been a key factor in Labour's platform for social and economic development since 1985.

"We plan to combat rural stagnation, unemployment, the squatter problem and rural poverty through an integrated approach.

"This will involve giving priority to rehabilitating the sugar and copra industries, and actively promoting other agricultural activities to enhance incomes and create jobs."

He said central to Labour's package would be the creation of agricultural estates in various parts of the country.

"Labour will provide three to five-acre fully serviced lots with subsidised housing.

"Resettled families will engage in commercial agriculture or livestock farming suited to the region.

"The State will provide all necessary infrastructure and marketing assistance.

"We will revive rice farming where suitable and promote livestock husbandry with all necessary technical assistance provided. State will subsidise cost of initial farm inputs."








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63190.6129
JPY 56.703853.7038
GBP 0.38510.3771
EUR 0.43100.4190
NZD 0.68430.6513
AUD 0.63360.6086
USD 0.50330.4863

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 21st, July, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Journals from the UK
  2. Tearful farewell
  3. Yuri's love for Fiji
  4. Sex 'was consensual'
  5. Man imprisoned for killing brother
  6. Charred remains
  7. PM invites investors
  8. Revival of Adi Natuicake Festival
  9. Humpback greets tourists in Lomaiviti waters
  10. Advances 'not returned'

Top Stories this Week

  1. Sera & Napolioni's fairytale wedding Sunday (16 Jul)
  2. Cane field murder Tuesday (18 Jul)
  3. Body of baby found in Nabua Wednesday (19 Jul)
  4. No threat, says RFMF Monday (17 Jul)
  5. Former soldier seeks forgiveness Tuesday (18 Jul)
  6. Mother and children perish in fire Thursday (20 Jul)
  7. School holds annual pageant and cultural show Sunday (16 Jul)
  8. $30m absence Monday (17 Jul)
  9. Journals from the UK Friday (21 Jul)
  10. Space to share Thursday (20 Jul)