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Daunivalu Attributes Success To Island Life

"Today as the chief executive of­ficer of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) she recalls being raised on the island of Naroi in the Lau group which has contributed to her success."
09 Mar 2019 15:19
Daunivalu Attributes Success To Island Life
Fiji Crop and Livestock Council chief executive officer Jiu Daunivalu

Jiu Daunivalu never thought one day she would become one of the most influential people in the Agriculture sector.

Today as the chief executive of­ficer of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) she recalls being raised on the island of Naroi in the Lau group which has contributed to her success.

Below are excerpts of the interview with Mrs Jiu Daunivalu:

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Jiu Daunivalu, I hail from Naroi, Moala in Lau.

I attended Naroi Primary School and later joined Moala Secondary School. I finished my high school education at the Nasinu Secondary School. I am currently the chief ex­ecutive officer of the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council.

2.Did your family background or where you grew up, have any influence on your career choices?

Being raised in Lau coming to Suva for school, everything was new so I was more attracted to go­ing to a new school.

My father, was the Roko Tui Lau but was also one of the most suc­cessful farmers in the island of Mo­ala, so my upbringing was based on hardwork, disciplinary in farming and relying on God.

With that one cannot be swayed or influenced from peer pressure be­cause the foundation from the vil­lage is too good.

  1. Tell us about your career so far?

After completing my high school in 1981, I didn’t want to go back to school so I decided to work.

So I worked for Fiji Times for about six months and then later joined the Korean embassy starting off at clerical level.

After five years on the job, I ended up as personal assistant to the Jap­anese Ambassador to Fiji.

I worked at the Korean Embassy for ten years and then I was offered a Fijian Affairs Board scholarship.

Here I was able to complete my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Eco­nomics at the University of the South of the Pacific.

1998: I joined the Minister for In­dustry & Trade and Tourism at that time the ministry of public enter­prise was a unit under that Minis­try and the department of public enterprise became a Ministry on its own in 2000.

I worked at the public enterprise for another five years, doing corpo­ratisation and commercialisation.

2008: I resigned and joined the Fiji Ports Corporations general manager for port services for three years.

2012: I joined Digicel Fiji Limited as the regional manager West for two years.

2014: I later joined the UN inter­national trade centre as a consult­ant based in Geneva.

My project was to look at the FCLC at that time and then the councils were established and operated and funded by the FCLC, until Decem­ber 2016 when the project ended.

2016: I was appointed as chief ex­ecutive officer for the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council in January 2016 till today.

  1. Tell us a bit about your FCLC?

As the CEO, I find the agriculture sector very interesting and I have passion since I was brought up in that environment. Eighty per cent of non-sugar sector farmers live in the rural areas, so you cannot sit in the office.

I usually go out on the field and feel the skin of farmers and under­stand their issues and policies.

Our role is to structure this non-sugar sector and the mainstream of agriculture is to address the is­sues of farmers.

iii. What areas in the agriculture sector will FCLC strengthen?

As the umbrella body the Min­istry of Agriculture all farmers formed under the respective com­modity association fall under us so we structure them.We try to address the issues of farmers and commodities of the association.

We go right down to the grass­roots level to understand the veri­fication.

As the apex body, we at the Minis­try of Agriculture are looking into issues of farmers in the non-sugar sector.

FCLC was created in 2010 by Gov­ernment, for the expressed purpose of focusing on the business end of agriculture.

The Council has been active over the years in addressing concerns that have affected the way farmers do business.

It presently has over 35,000 farm­ers as its members.

The Council has 12 associations include Pigs, Yaqona, Grazing Live­stock, Dalo, Cocoa, Ginger, Rice, Beekeepers, Fruit and Vegetable, Organics, Copra, and the Dairy In­dustry.

  1. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

With the Ministry of Public Enter­prise, everything is set up but here you build it up, that’s a challenge. In terms of career, spending 10 years in the Ministry of Public En­terprise where other projects like the Water Authority of Fiji, where you observe and you are the policy maker. Joining the Ministry of Ag­riculture it is a different platform, you go out to the field and under­standing the farmers.

  1. Have you been inspired or influenced by anyone in particular?

My father was the Roko of Lau, Lepani Sigatolu.

My dad was a lay preacher and with that disciplinary just follows through so I was not easily influ­enced from peer pressure because the foundation from the village is too good

  1. What do you like best about your work?

To be more effective I have to feel the skins of the farmers and what is important is consultation

With Agriculture, I find it very in­teresting to engage the women and the youth and have that impact that you can make a difference. Women are thorough and are successful. Which is what we doing especially with training.

  1. What are some of the most diffi­cult aspects?

We have a mobile platform and right now we are looking for funds to help these farmers to connect with FCLC and other members.

One other challenge is having a plan within a year and meeting that deadline with the available re­sources.

Its more like you want to fly but your wings are clipped, we need to make this relevant key agencies help achieve our vision of improv­ing the livelihood

  1. What are your ambitions for the future?

To continue on as my role as the CEO since it has always been my passion.

  1. What would you say to young people who would like to be a chief executive officer in the future?

Set your vision and goal, skies will by the limit, and that’s what I did when I started.

  1. What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

When I see that my decision makes an impact into a livelihood of farm­ers that need assistance and ensure that they have sustainable source of income. Farming is career and I urge people to take it up.

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

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