Agreement to assist fisher co-operatives, associations

From left: MCTTT permanent secretary Shaheen Ali, Assistant FAO representative Joann Young and PS Fisheries Pene Baleinabuli. Picture: SUPPLIED

An agreement between the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will enable them to assist fisher co-operatives and associations and in the development of training modules and materials.

In a statement, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya said the strategic partnership had long formed the foundation of the Fijian Government’s programs, especially on income generating projects that focus on food security.

“Our renewed partnership with the FAO demonstrates confidence in our programmes and we are excited to be working with them to strengthen our grassroot fisher co-operatives and associations.

This gives us another opportunity to leverage our shared resources, strengths and expertise,” he said.

Assistant FAO representative to Fiji, Joann Young said “Based on our past successful partnerships, we are once again delighted to work with the Ministry to strengthen the sustainability practices of our fisher folks to improve food and nutrition security.”

Meanwhile Ministry of Fisheries acting permanent secretary Pene Baleinabuli said for civil servants to help Fiji make the transition into a sustainable economy and an inclusive and progressive nation, “we have to keep challenging ourselves to be ready to absorb the assistance that organisations like the FAO bring to the table”.

According to the ministry the partnership aims to empower co-operatives and associations to: Understand processes and responsibilities of becoming a registered fisher group; Build capacity on basic accounting, bookkeeping and financial management; Learn various methods of fish preservation post-harvest; Understand proper hygiene for fish and maintenance of equipment; and Recognise the need to sustain and manage marine resources.

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