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EDITORIAL: Koro Initiative Carries Hope For Youth

The Million Dollar Farmer initiative, launched by Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou in Koro Island, is an ambitious project. It’s a new concept and it’s the first of
25 Apr 2015 09:37
EDITORIAL: Koro Initiative Carries Hope For Youth

The Million Dollar Farmer initiative, launched by Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou in Koro Island, is an ambitious project.

It’s a new concept and it’s the first of its kind in the country.

It will involve the youth of the island to develop their natural resources and be engaged in gainful employment.

It’s ambitious because it has never been done before but it offers a whole new raft of opportunities.

Agriculture is seen as potential money-making activity because the island is rich in fertile soil and lush vegetation.

All it requires is a sound operational plan and a firm commitment to implement it.

One of the challenges that we all face is how to harness the boundless energy of our youth. No all of them will become toppers and move on to higher education because of a combination of factors.

That is why we need innovative ideas to engage those that are unable to make it that far.

The Koro initiative, therefore, is a brilliant idea. It will help the island youth to learn basics in farming, business and commerce.

It will give them a strong reason to remain on the island instead of drifting into urban centres looking for opportunities like training and employment.

Urban drift is a perennial problem and it’s not confined to Fiji alone.

The battle to keep our young people in the rural and maritime areas is on-going. In areas where success has been recorded, they have done it with a deliberate programme to keep the youth busy and occupied.

Idleness breeds anti-social behavior as many young people drifting into urban areas have discovered through sad and painful experiences.

If the Koro initiative is rolled out as planned and achieves the desired outcome, it will not only stimulate economic growth, it will help build a strong community.

Mr Tuitubou obviously sees the potential in Koro and the islanders have embraced the initiative.

Koro, no doubt, has enough resources to maintain a sustainable economy and become self sufficient. It has the best of both worlds, fertile land and marine resources.

It can develop to be an economic hub in the Lomaiviti Group and a vital source for food for other islands, including Viti Levu.

Already, farm produce and seafood are being sold in Suva at premium price because of its freshness and quality. Yaqona or kava from the island is popular and fetches top dollars in urban markets.

They say rich volcanic soil has something to do with it.

Similar initiatives to Koro are planned for Rotuma, Kadavu, Lau and Lomaiviti.

Mr Tuitubou says on Koro, young ardent farmers are being targeted. The minister, who is originally from Sinuvaca Village, Koro, knows what Koro is capable of achieving.

Imagine what would happen if the same experiment works in Gau, Nairai, Batiki, Ovalau and Moturiki. It would transform Lomaiviti into a thriving economic hub.

Replicate that in other rural and maritime regions and we have a vastly different picture. Their combined output would be a major boost for the national economy.

The scheme would reverse the urban drift and help lower the urban social problems associated with youth.

Koro carries hope for the youth and vision of Mr Tuitubou.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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