FLP shifts focus

THE Fiji Labour Party plans to provide more housing opportunities to Fijians in rural areas if it forms the next Government.

During the the party’s annual convention in Suva on Saturday, party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said they were keen on investing in the rural sector.

Mr Chaudhry said the party’s manifesto for the 2018 election had touched on investing in the rural sector and to develop agriculture and provide housing opportunities for rural dwellers, which would see results in double folds .

He claims there has been a significant decline in the rural economy over the years.

“We have a lot of land which can be put to good use and can solve problems like housing, employment and of course income,” he said.

“We have suggested that there should be greater focus on commercial agricultural estates, meaning that land be provided to those who want to enter this scheme as small holders.

“The State must invest in providing basic housing for famailies that will settle there. They must identify the best crop to meet the demand available in the market.”

Mr Chaudhry said part of the plan was to have facilities set up close to areas where these people would settle.

“It must be closer to all facilities, schools or hospitals or rather medical facilities, because when you settle people anywhere you need to take the facilities to them.

“And then we will also be solving the housing problem. We will give them an income through commercial farming. A lot can be done here.”

Mr Chaudhry said in terms of agriculture, settlers in these areas should only plant vegetables or crops for export markets.

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