NATION

20 Tonnes Of Kiwi Fruit For West Schools

  Students in the interior schools of the Western Division will be receiving kiwi fruits to supplement their diets. This is an initiative of the Ministry of Education with assistance
11 Aug 2016 11:11
20 Tonnes Of Kiwi Fruit For West Schools
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Dr Mahendra Reddy, guests and students of Mulomulo Primary School in Nadi yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

 

Students in the interior schools of the Western Division will be receiving kiwi fruits to supplement their diets.

This is an initiative of the Ministry of Education with assistance from overseas companies as part of the relief effort after TC Winston.

The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy yesterday received 20 tonnes of kiwifruits from New Zealand-based Zepri International Limited in a collaboration effort with Turners and Growers (Fiji).

Mr Reddy, during the handover at Mulomulo Primary school in Nadi, said each student would be receiving 0.5 kilograms per child in coming days which will last for two weeks.

“After TC Winston there were some concerns raised as children were not getting a balanced diet. It could lead to nutritional deficiency in the interior and particularly the maritime islands,” he said.

“We are looking at 500,000 students in 60 schools to benefit from this. Kiwifruit is very high in Vitamin C.”

Dr Reddy said since then the ministry had discussions with other stakeholders overseas to assist with consumption items.

“This is a one-off distribution from Zespri International and Turner and Growers (Fiji). This is the beginning and might attract other donors. We are looking at carrot. We have started talking with Tuners and Growers with some other fruits. We have the infrastructure but we need the supplier.”

Zespri International Limited external relations manager Nick Kirton said this was one of the great initiatives by their industry partner.

“The idea came from a suggestion by one of our growers, as a nice thing to do since Fiji and NZ have a very strong link as well in the horticulture industry,” Mr Kirton said.

“As well with about 150 Fijians coming over to assist in the fruit industry certainty after the cyclone, there was a need for recovery and we want to play a part.”

He said their stakeholders in the transportation; shipping and local supplier all played a part in it.

NZ deputy High Commissioner Amanda Vercoe applauded the gesture by the NZ company.

Meanwhile, the fruit was distributed to students at Mulomulo Primary School and Nadi Special School.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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