NATION

Rural Training Making Products From Local Raw Material

Women of Navotua in Nacula, Yasawa can now earn extra income after being up-skilled in producing food products and scented oil from raw materials available in their village. Organised by
14 Mar 2017 11:00
Rural Training Making Products From Local Raw Material

Women of Navotua in Nacula, Yasawa can now earn extra income after being up-skilled in producing food products and scented oil from raw materials available in their village.

Organised by World Wide Fund-Pacific, the week-long workshop on food preservation brought together 14 women to actively participate through hands on experience and most importantly on value adding products for the first time.

“The available crops are breadfruit, bananas and coconut,” said Food Preservation Consultant Api Cegumalua.

“We also are focusing on Noni as well.

“We have actually trained the women in processing and preservation techniques.

“We are looking at making jam from the fruits that we have like papaya and mango.”

Villagers were trained hands-on in making scented coconut oil, soaps, jams and assorted chips from breadfruit and banana.

“The workshop sponsored by USAID through WWF-Pacific was a great initiative as we now know how to make not only virgin coconut oil but other products such as soap, breadfruit, banana chips to even jam,” said a participant Losena Qova.

Ms Cegumalua said the project would go a long way in ensuring these women were able to generate income to  help support their families.

“The soap making is a first for us,” Ms Qova said.

“We only know that soap is made from coconut and is always white in colour.

“A new technique we have learnt is making coloured soaps and this is simple as adding food colouring in the soap making process.

“Attractive coloured soap will really appeal to the tourists in buying our products.”

Another participant highlighted how infusing available fragrance into oil was a plus.

“I didn’t know how to make my virgin coconut oils scented and now I know how to,” Sesarina Nawaitavou said.

“Especially the sandalwood fragrance in which now I know how to infuse such fragrance in to my virgin coconut oil.”

“With the breadfruit you can make so many things. You can make breadfruit flour, fries or chips, mashed breadfruit and also breadfruit jam,” said another participant, Seruwaia Bua.

Ms Cegumalua said packaging and transport for the quality products would be a challenge.

“One of the issues they brought up is packaging, they will need to have proper packaging, proper sealing machine, proper labelling so that it is marketable. It must be well presented,” Ms Cegumalua said.

“They would need a good boat for transportation to take their products to the nearby resorts. With the enthusiasm that is here I can see they will be able to sell their products to the available markets.”

 



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