Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy told villagers of Wauosi that the Government will address challenges in agriculture faced by rural communities in the Western Division.
Speaking at the opening of two new foot crossings at Wauosi, which is located on the border of Navosa and Ba, Minister Reddy said the Government will soon unveil their plans and it would solve some of the issues in agriculture especially for people in the upper hills of the Western Division.
He made the comments in response to a proposal received from Wauosi villagers regarding their village developments.
Minister Reddy said the Government’s plans to upgrade most of the farm roads within the rural community to assist farmers with transporting their produce to the markets.
He also urged the village of Wauosi to continuously support their children in education because Government’s vision of not leaving anyone behind starts at home and with the family.
Minister Reddy said gone were the days when ones child would just layoff from school even though they were bright because of the lack of the support from the family and the Government.
“Some 20 or 30 years ago, for children from here, it was a dream to complete their primary and finish off their secondary school education and go further to university.”
“If they were lucky, they would have relatives in Nadi or Lautoka where they could go to complete their secondary school education and get lucky to move on to tertiary education.”
“So in those days there was huge imbalance for children in maritime and rural areas and urban areas going to university. For children from interior like this it was a dream, they would forget about going to university.”
“University back then was a dream but today through Government’s help, it can become not just a dream but a reality. Children from the rural community can be given the same opportunity from urban area because of this,” he said.
In terms of new markets for farm produce, Minister Reddy said the Government was in the process of identifying new markets for farmers.
“We have just appointed a new board for the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) and we intend to address these challenges,” he said.
Minister Reddy told villagers that the Government is looking at building a new water reservoir to replace the current one which was built in 1976 and was in a debilitating condition.