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Navuso To Bounce Back: PM

Navuso Agricultural School, Naitasiri, was once an agricultural pride of Fiji before years of neglect brought it to its knees. Now work is underway to revive the institution. It is
31 Jan 2015 12:19
Navuso To Bounce Back: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainmarama (right), and Methodist Church of Fiji, president, Tevita Banivanua during the opening of the new dormitory at Navuso Agriculture School yesterday.. Photo: Rama

Navuso Agricultural School, Naitasiri, was once an agricultural pride of Fiji before years of neglect brought it to its knees.

Now work is underway to revive the institution. It is led by Government and yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama set the platform for Navuso to reclaim its former glory.

Mr Bainimarama opened the boys’ dormitory at the Navuso Agriculture School yesterday.

This was done not just to provide better facilities for the students, but to encourage more students to study agriculture courses offered at the school.

“Someone of my age can recall that in the 1960s and 70s – for instance -Navuso was a highly respected institution,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“I think we can all agree that Navuso lost its way. This was a great shame. Because that neglect was not only at the cost of the livelihood of many ordinary Fijians with an ambition to take up farming, but the nation’s food production as a whole.”

Mr Bainimarama also touched upon the strained relationship his Government has had with the Methodist Church, saying that despite the differences, Government was always ready to assist.

“As we all know and recognise, my Government’s relationship with the Methodist Church hasn’t always been easy.

“In fact, we have had some strong differences over the Church’s proper role in national life. And I still think that far too many talatalas (reverends) are more intent on playing politics than catering for the spiritual needs of our people.”

Mr Bainimarama said Government fully supported Navuso’s core objective to train farmers for one of Fiji’s most important priorities.

“We must give more Fijians the opportunity to enter the agricultural sector by equipping them with the best possible skills and training.

“We must offer them the prospect of making healthy and sustainable living for themselves, their families, and through that, the wider community.”

Mr Bainimarama said it was not acceptable for Fiji to continue to import foodstuff that could easily be grown in here – and even exported.

“And we must all focus our minds on reducing our dependency on food exports and making Fiji a powerhouse of food production.”

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