The women of Rabi have been urged to take ownership of a new virgin coconut oil business that was launched this week.

Government’s Acting Divisional Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu launched the new business venture on Rabi Island and highlighted Government’s position to empower women in rural and isolated communities.

Funded through Government’s Integrated Human Resources Development program (IHRDP), this new business venture will see the women of Rabi harness coconuts to produce virgin coconut oil. The project will also allow them to prepare by-products for commercial gain.

“The women will be buying coconuts for the villages at 20 cents each to produce the oil which will be sold to a prominent buyer. There also a lot of bi-products which will be sold locally to the islanders like washing soap, perfumes, chicken feed and many others,” Bolalevu said.

Bolalevu pointed out that business ventures such as these need to operate consistently if financial returns are to be realised.

“You should now start planting more Fiji Tall breed of coconuts to keep both businesses sustainable in the future,” Bolalevu said.

For Terikano Takesau, this new venture sets a new direction for the women of Rabi especially those that don’t have any form of income.

“Our markets are being made available by Investment Fiji with a local business woman and we project a net return of $3000 monthly from this VCO business,” Takesau said.

“Let me take this wonderful opportunity to thank the Government of the day for the great assistance by IHRDP and also thank other stakeholders”.