VITAWA villagers in Rakiraki are reaping the benefit of their hard work earning more than $12,000 in the first harvest from their fish ponds.
With the backing of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Fiji government, the villagers have set the pace for other villagers to tag along by creating income generating sources to support village projects.
Ra provincial administrator Sitiveni Tavaga thanked the village development committee for making use of the available resources.
He said the villagers had taken a huge forward step in helping themselves rather than depending on the government for financial assistance.
"It has been a norm in the past years where villagers depended too much on the government for village development," said Mr Tavaga. "In fact, through our various tikina and provincial meeting last year, villagers have been urged to start their own income generating sources.
"The government will be happy to assist those that are already helping themselves."
He has also encouraged other settlements along the coast of Ra to learn from Vitawa village.
Mr Tavaga said the iTaukei should learn to make use of the surrounding natural resources.
"Fijians have land, minerals, forests and other money-making resources which need to be fully utilised to produce maximum monetary outputs."
"In fact, we always depend on outsiders to explore these resources for their own benefit.
"The government is always ready to assist any resource owners with advice on how to best utilise their resources," said Mr Tavaga.