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Bank equips mud crab fishers with financial literacy skills

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, July 15, 2017

A GROUP of mud crab fishers from several districts in Bua, Vanua Levu were recently part of a financial literacy training aimed at equipping them with knowledge and skills to better plan finances.

The mud crab fishers from Kubulau, Dama, Bua, Navakasiga and Lekutu districts in Bua Province, are mostly involved in collecting mud crabs.

This is a highly valued commodity which serves as a means of earning income for the mud crab fishers on a daily basis.

As part of the training, the farmers were provided with the opportunity to learn basic budgeting skills, savings, money management and basic business skills.

The training was made possible through a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Westpac Banking Corporation.

It was conducted in conjunction with a mud crab project spearheaded by WCS, in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and the Fiji locally-managed marine area (FLMMA) network that is focusing on the economic empowerment of women engaged in Fiji's mud crab fishery.

WCS's women in fisheries co-ordinator Margaret Fox, in a statement, said it was the first time for most of the mud crab fishers to undergo a training of this nature.

"As part of our process of empowering the mud crab collectors of Bua Province, we recognised that improving the fishers' financial literacy skills as an imperative step towards this," Ms Fox said.

"So that they could make informed decisions regarding their finances while also enhancing their awareness of basic business skills to help them market their products better."

The statement further stated that the expectation was that these basic financial literacy skills would further assist the mud crab fishers to better plan their expenses and use their earned income wisely.

The training also aimed at identifying ways in which these mud crab farmers could better market their products to improve income generation.

WCS is working with local communities to improve their livelihoods and to further encourage them to have a management plan in place to protect critical mangrove habitats.

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