SUNCITY

PCN Empowers Squatters in Integrated Farming Project

People’s Community Network (PCN) is giving opportunities to farmers living in squatter settlements to improve their standard of living by farming. This is part of their Integrated Farming Project where
17 Mar 2016 09:17
PCN Empowers Squatters in  Integrated Farming Project
Fijian families living in squatter settlements

People’s Community Network (PCN) is giving opportunities to farmers living in squatter settlements to improve their standard of living by farming.

This is part of their Integrated Farming Project where it empowers people living in informal settlements interested in pursuing a career in farming.

PCN farm manager Mesake Tamani said: “The project aims to create a livelihood to provide squatters with a better living standard addressing shelter resettlement and income generation.

“The aim of PCN is to take people out of urban squatter settlements and settle them back on the land,” he said.

The New Zealand High Commission donated $10,000 under the High Commission’s small grants scheme to the PCN for the Integrated Farming Project yesterday.

The deputy High Commissioner, Amanda Vercoe, presented the cheque to PCN’s national director Semiti Qalowasa at the PCN office yesterday. The grant will be used to purchase farming equipment and seedlings for the 35 selected farmers to help cultivate the 200 acres land allocated to them under the project.

“We choose farmers living in squatter settlements and they are given land in Lomaivuna, Naitasiri and Vanuakula in Wainimala for farming,” he said.

Mr Tamani said they also built houses for the farmers.

“There has been a lot of interest shown among urban squatter families who are willing to return to the land.

“Farmers grow crops such as ginger, dalo and vegetables as well as plans to go into piggery and poultry farming,” he said.

Mr Tamani said PCN has been taking full responsibility of the resettlement process and they have been working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

The PCN Intergrated Farming Project started about three years ago and since then there has been 12 well-established farmers under this scheme. About 35 families consisting of 193 people, that showed interest, were recently taken in by PCN for initial training by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback: shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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