A farming initiative by two youth groups in the tikina of Nakorotubu in Ra today received a boost when the Minister for Youth and Sports, Parveen Kumar Bala handed over farming equipment to assist their efforts at Nalidi Village.

The two groups from Nalidi and Matuku village respectively, started their programme in January of last year in an effort to safeguard the future of members and for food security.

While handing over the farming implements, Minister Kumar said that the central role of youths is achieving goals for youth development especially when it comes to food security.

"In my last official address at a handover ceremony for the Youth Farm Initiative program, I had spoken about the global challenges and how it affects local communities, especially when it comes to food security," the Minister told the youths at Nalidi Village.

"Even before the pandemic, food security has been a global issue. This is why we are reaching out to youth groups by providing materials and means for them to become productive contributors to national food security."

In addition, the Minister said that the pandemic had caused an economic slowdown and youths can continue to be productive and contribute to the food security of their families and communities.

"I commend the Operation Matakavou Rural Millionaire Youth Club here in Nalidi who have initiated their own ten-year development plan and have even committed themselves to refrain from substance intake such as smoking, alcohol and kava. I also commend the Matuku Youth Club for taking initiative with their commercial yaqona farming. I have also been informed that for the past years they have engaged and committed themselves with community work such as the construction of their new community hall."

Nalidi Youth and group president Ilaisa Gonebure, while praising the Government, said the assistance will allow them to realise their dreams and the potential of the group members.

"Adhering to our commitments is very important at the moment and I thank the elders of our village for their support and we look forward to our continued partnership with the Youth Ministry,” said Gonebure.