Speech for the handing over of woodworking tools and machines under the Forestry Subsidy Scheme
Our Development Partners
The Six Recipients of our Forest Subsidy Scheme
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good afternoon and Bula Vinaka to you all.
It is indeed an honour and a great pleasure for me to officially hand-over the new sets of wood-working tools and machines to the six successful applicants who have been chosen to receive Government’s Forest Subsidy Assistance in this financial year.
The forest subsidy assistance clearly demonstrates Government’s explicit efforts to ensure that the sum-total of its development work is reflected in the lives of the people and communities we serve. On this occasion, this assistance will help improve the livelihoods of the people who directly depend on Fiji’s forest resources.
The assistance is also part of empowering all Fijians to benefit from socio economic growth opportunities from our rural to urban communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, after successfully winning the election last year the Government is committed to Fiji’s national development program focusing on enhancing economic growth, capitalizing on emerging opportunities and effective service delivery to our stakeholders.
Government’s decision to strengthen the agencies in the economic services sector is aimed at facilitating greater economic growth through partnerships with the private sector, development partners, civil society organisations and the communities at large.
The Ministry of Forestry aims to help take Fiji’s forest sector to new heights. Essentially, this will include providing more focus and undivided attention towards building a much more robust and sustainable forest sector equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow.
This is a start of a new beginning for a new forest administration, where Fijians now have a new foundation for building a strong partnership for prosperity within the forest sector.
The Government’s manifesto will continually embrace community empowerment through provision of appropriate assistance to Small Micro Enterprise such as this, and identification of alternative livelihood schemes that will further increase profit margins of small income generating business such as wood carving and artifacts.
Government is willing to elevate some of these informal sectors such as word carving and artifacts productions to the formal sector and fully realizing the national economic contributions to Fiji’s GDP.
Our collaboration with development partners will secure modern technology and capacity building with which we intend to reach out to you all.
Your commitment and our facilitation enabling your access to these opportunities will not only help you grow, but also enhance your skills, efficiency, and the opportunities to expand and diversify.
Ladies and Gentlemen, since 2017, this Government through the Ministry of Forestry together with our development partners has assisted a total of 13 wood carvers with tools and equipment worth $100,000 to lift the quality of their products to attract the high value markets.
Again this year, an additional $50,000 will assist 6 individuals to boost production and at the same time improve designs and finishing of carving products.
A total of $50,000 was spent on acquiring these specialized value adding machines. The Ministry is also asking Government to continue to allocate funds to assist other similar businesses in the next financial year, 2019/2020.
To the six successful applicants, the Ministry will be monitoring your activities closely so that the value adding machines and equipment are put to full and effective use.
We anticipate that this assistance will enable you to improve your livelihoods through maximizing the use of your resources. Your families should also benefit from this assistance.
Your success will be our collective achievement, and we will continue to support your training needs and empower you to keep growing.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with those few words, I wish the six recipients every success and prosperity with your business ventures.
Vinaka vakalevu, Dhaniyavaad and Thank you.