Na Turaga Na Buli Dama;
Honourable Cabinet Ministers;
Government Officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Bula vinaka –– good afternoon, everyone.
I’m glad to be in Vanua Levu this week, where I’ll be commissioning a range of new projects –– all intended to uplift the quality of life for Fijians in the friendly North.
And for the families of Vunivau, this new rice harvester will do just that. 
Because while the nation reels from the global economic impact of COVID-19, when it comes to continuing our national development, your Government will not rest.
We’re dedicated to building on the progress that we’ve achieved together –– investing in our communities from the ground up. By giving Fijians the tools they need, they can overcome any obstacle.
So today, we’re happy to be handing over one very big tool indeed –– in the form of a new $60,000 rice harvester.
Rice is a staple found on kitchen tables throughout the country. But all too often, that rice is grown thousands of kilometres away, imported from some far-off country. But there’s no reason that Fiji –– and our ideal climate for rice cultivation –– can’t make that journey from the rice paddy to our tables much, much shorter.
With our eyes set on a wholly sustainable agro-economy, rice will play an essential role in achieving this vision. That’s why Government is providing assistance every step of the way –– from seed to harvest to milling –– to make rice farming as hassle-free and profitable as possible.
And even before a seed is planted, the Ministry of Agriculture is investing in research to ensure we are tapping into Fiji’s farming potential in the most impactful way possible. 
From community-based farming to large commercial farms, we’ll get there by working together. And farmers like you, right here in Vunivau, are our most valuable asset.
This new combine harvester will cut down on labour and cost of growing rice, and allow you to grow crops with higher yields without worrying about physically toiling to reap the benefits. By creating a more modern, mechanised Rice Farming Industry –– in Vunivau, across Bua, and all throughout Fiji –– we’re bringing this crop into the future, and uplifting the quality of your lives in the process.
I look forward to watching the many families of Vunivau take advantage of this new tool at your disposal, and share in the economic benefits, in the next harvesting season and well beyond.
Vinaka vakalevu, thank you, and God bless Fiji.