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Ministry Supports Lakeba Pine Plan

Ministry Supports Lakeba Pine Plan
June 14
15:41 2015

People of Lakeba living in Suva and on the island are taking a unified approach to ensure that pine development on the island is successful.

Minister for Fisheries and Forests Osea Naiqamu emphasised the need to respect and support the initiative.

“Once this is in order, we will work with the Lakeba Development Company board to ensure all facets of the development machinery improve,” Mr Naiqamu said.

“The business arm must reap profits and do away with the vakavanua-related approaches if it is to survive.”

Mr Naiqamu spoke to Lakeba Village elders and representatives residing in Suva at the ministry’s headquarters on Wednesday.

“Right now pine resin tapping is creating employment opportunities in Lakeba; this has generated a total of around $40,000 in terms of revenue,” he said.

“Employment is currently improving the livelihood of the resource owners.”

He said at the moment only 37 people were employed in pine resin tapping and this was expected to reach 300 by year end when all villages would be involved.

“Interestingly, the pine resin barge sent to Lakeba now also comes back with fisheries and bio-fuel commodities, which further boosts revenue through an Integrated Commodity Development approach.

“We cannot continue to see the Lakeba pine development as a failure, and my ministry is here to see it improves and sustains its operations into the future.

“This is only possible through the unified perseverance of the people of Lakeba,” Mr Naiqamu said.




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