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Focus On Rural Economy

Focus On Rural Economy
A group photo of the delegates from the Asia Pacific region who are here for the 33rd Technical Committee Meeting of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) on April 19, 2018, at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi. Photos: DEPTFO News
April 20
10:00 2018

 

For countries like Fiji, the rural economy still has tremendous potential to contribute positively to our social and economic growth.

This was the comment by Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Joeli Cawaki, who officiated the opening of the 33rd Technical Committee Meeting of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) region at the Convention Centre, at the Tanoa International Hotel, in Nadi on Thursday.

He said, “The CIRDAP Technical Committee will also convene to dialogue, share experiences and thrash out issues regarding rural development in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, the nature of development today has presented our rural economies with cross-cutting issues that must be addressed in all its complexities. And the ‘business as usual’ way of doing things must change!,”

He proposed and strongly encouraged innovative rural development as a way forward.

“This change in mind-set from ‘business as usual’ to ‘innovativeness’ is the first-step to transformation. We need to begin viewing what we used to consider problems, as opportunities for growth and development.

“Our green, blue and grey infrastructures can be harnessed to provide the enabling environments and platform from which the rural population can stand.”

He urged delegates not to forget the pressing issues of natural disasters and climate change, two things we are too familiar with.

“The CIRDAP institutional mechanisms are in place, the onus is now on you, the committee, through dialogue, to translate those ideas, skills and experiences into national policies that will be tools for innovative pragmatic solutions in transforming our rural economies to be positive contributors to social and economic growth in our countries,” Mr Cawaki said.

“And while doing so, do not lose sight of why the CIRDAP was established in the first place; which is to promote and facilitate national and regional cooperation for Integrated Rural Development in our Asia-Pacific region.”

Meanwhile, CIRDAP is a Bangladesh-based intergovernmental organisation involved in rural development and poverty alleviation.

The event attended by 15 member countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In another development, Permanent Secretary for National Disaster Management Meleti Bainimarama has taken over the chairmanship from outgoing CIRDAP TC33 Mizanur Rahman of Bangladesh. Edited by Epineri Vula

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