Fiji Time: 1:31 PM on Friday 19 January

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Province looks at village self-sufficiency

Manasa Kalouniviti
Friday, December 08, 2017

A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MOU) was signed between Tailevu and the province of Hela in Papua New Guinea (PNG) during the Tailevu Day (Siga Kei Tailevu) fundraising festival at Syria Park in Nausori last Friday.

This was after their delegation, led by PNG's Minister for Finance James Marape and traditional head of the Hela province, gave $50,000 to open the Tailevu Day fundraiser

"I want to clarify that the MOU was signed with Tailevu by Mr Marape on behalf of the province of Hela, PNG, and not in his capacity as Finance Minister of PNG," Roko Tui Tailevu Iliesa Delasau said.

He said under the MOU the two provinces would look at positive ways in which they could integrate and help each other going forward.

"In group cultural exchange visits, employment; whatever good things that will be beneficial to us in Tailevu and vice-versa," he said.

He said he would have to present the MOU to the Tailevu Provincial Council meeting for endorsement before they moved forward on the MOU.

Meanwhile, $200,000 was raised during the two-day fundraiser at Nausori in which all men and women of the province, who were registered in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula (VKB) were required to give $50 each.

"Out of that $50, 20 per cent or $10 would go to the provincial office for operation and investment costs; another 40 per cent or $20 would go towards education and sustainable livelihood training and the remaining 40 per cent ($20) to go towards their own village investment," Mr Delasau said.

He said the education and sustainable livelihood training would be specifically designed to target the resources each particular village had.

"It's all about value-adding to the raw materials each village has and not letting others enjoy this benefit," he said.

On village investment he said any village can apply for their share of the dividends from the village investment based on their village total of 20 per cent of the $50 each villager gave, for village development purposes.

"The provincial office will have to diligently oversee this and ensure that the whole process is transparent.

"Gone are the days when members of the province just give their soli and that was it; now everything goes back to them in a transparent manner."

He said the whole idea was to ensure that each village in Tailevu was seen as a sufficiency economy and a holistic unit.

"Our work in Tailevu is based on the five platforms provided by Government which covers good governance, wellbeing, economic empowerment, conservation and climate change and the vanua.

"We must always work in tandem and within Government's policy and visions for development," Mr Delasau said.

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