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INITIATIVE: Koya Gives Examples of Fijians Making Use Of FijiFirst Small Business Grants

INITIATIVE: Koya Gives Examples of Fijians Making Use Of FijiFirst Small Business Grants
Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya, with SODELPA Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu outside Parliament on September 13, 2017.
September 14
12:35 2017

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya yesterday detailed Fijians who were making good progress in Government’s Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises.

Mr Koya said 12,079 Fijians had been assisted under the FijiFirst initiative and $11.6 million had been invested in the business ventures of these Fijians by Government.

He called out the Opposition, especially SODELPA member Mosese Bulitavu on misleading statements made in Parliament.

Mr Bulitavu had told Parliament on Monday that the Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism had stated that the Ministry was having difficulty in monitoring the Grant.

“This is an out and out fabrication concocted by the Hon. Bulitavu. In fact, the Permanent Secretary is involved in spearheading the monitoring, evaluation and mentoring programme for all our grant recipients,” Mr Koya said.

“This is clearly, Madam Speaker, a lucid example of how the Opposition Members use their status in this House to make false assertions and try and mislead the public.”

Some of those he mentioned in Parliament yesterday were:

(i) Nacanieli Tuilevuka of Labasa, was given a grant to purchase cattle for his dairy farming. He earns $50-$100 per week from milk sales. With the profit he earns he has invested into a canteen business selling basic food items.  Mr Tuilevuka is able to not only improve and diversify his income but also contribute to his village and church obligations.

(ii) Aisake Cakacaka from Lomaivuna, Naitasiri, was assisted to purchase farming equipment.  He is now supplying dalo to Bens Trading Limited. His weekly income is $200.

(iii) Elizabeth Lomani of Wailekutu is operating a canteen business from the support she was provided under the Grant.  She is earning $100 per week and she is the sole bread winner for her family. The profits are allowing her to meet her family obligations.

(iv) Salima Ali from Seaqaqa, a widow with all her children now living in Suva is now able to earn a living from the grant that was provided for her to operate a canteen and she is able to support herself, without depending on her children.  Today she earns $100 a week.

(v) Mereoni Cagimaivuna from Seaqaqa, is employing 2 people to harvest yaqona.  She is earning $120-$150 per week.

(vi) Gyanendra Prasad of Narere, built a roadside stall from the assistance he received under the MSBG. He is earning $150 per week.

(vii) Through the MSBG assistance Mr. Bijay Singh bought a scale for his kava business. The lack of this basic equipment was hindering his ability to undertake his business. Today, two years after he had received his grant he has expanded his business and has 3 stalls at the Nausori Market. He earns $2,000 per week from kava sales.

(viii) Anare Tokakole from Lautoka bought sewing material for his tailoring business. He has a monthly turnover of $600.  He is now diversifying into retail business by investing in a canteen.

(ix) Shiu Ram from Taveuni purchased material for a stall for his bean sales business. His weekly income is $100. With the profit he earns he is planning to include more products to sell from his stall.

(x) Recipients in Taveuni, who are mainly dalo and yaqona farmers, are now able to purchase 18 months of fertilizer stock, rather than the monthly buying that they were doing.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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