Fijian Minister of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu praised the efforts of young people from Naitutu village in Tailevu who have collectively ventured into yaqona agriculture to enable them to become independent and financially stable in long term.
The Naitutu Village Transformation Youth Group is made up of 25 young men.
The youth group started their yaqona farm last year, following the concept of ‘rural millionaire’ adopted by the villagers of Sawaieke in Lomaiviti in 2018. To date, the youth have planted over 40,000 yaqona seedlings. ‘they plan to harvest in 2024.
Yesterday, Minister Seruiratu visited the village of Naitutu to officiate at the year-end celebration of the youth group.
Addressing members of the youth group, Minister Seruiratu said he was inspired by the individual efforts and determination shown by young people through the establishment of their yaqona farm.
He reminded the young people to use the money they earn from farming wisely for the good of their families.
“Nothing is ever difficult,” said Mr. Seruiratu.
“Remember that progress is impossible without change. People who can’t change their mindset can’t change anything. You have shown that you are fully committed to the change and I encourage you not to give up. Keep working together. I have never stopped emphasizing that during this COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to be in the countryside of Fiji. “
During his visit, Mr. Seruiratu also donated some items to help the youth group in their incitement to agriculture.
Items included a chainsaw, tents and a sprayer.
The chairman of the youth group, Lekima Soqo, thanked Mr. Seruiratu and the ministry for the much-needed help, saying it would greatly help the young people in their daily farming activities.
“We are truly grateful to the government for this help. Our young people are going to camp on the farm and we do not have suitable shelter, so the tents that have been given to us will allow us to have suitable shelter, ”said Mr. Soqo.
“Also, we just wanted to get a chainsaw and we are grateful that the Minister can help us in this regard. “
Meanwhile, Mr. Seruiratu also called on the youth and villagers of Naitutu gathered in yesterday’s celebration to properly prepare their individual families and villages for the current hurricane season.