11:34AM

WOMEN’S EXPO TO DISPLAY LOCAL TALENT

Fijian women from both rural and maritime areas will have an opportunity to showcase their talents and explore avenues to improve their livelihood at the first ever National Women’s Expo.

Practical workshops at the expo will include sewing classes, rocket stove display, business literacy training and fashion parade shows hosted by the fashion designers.

Women’s Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said the event will recognise and celebrate women as agents of change in our nation. 

“For the first time this event will bring rural and maritime women to the capital to showcase their products and give them an opportunity to network with each other,” Dr Luveni said.

“These include over 2000 women from the four main divisions as well as representatives from the 14 provinces in Fiji.

“The show boasts a total of 1164 participants to date from all the four divisions.”

The three-day expo will see other programs running concurrently to the trade show such as “Women & Children’s Summit” and “Marama ni Yavusa Summit”.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will open the event scheduled to take place from August 6th to 8th in Suva.

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11:31AM

INCREASING AWARENESS ON ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY

In commemorating World Population day, the Ministry of Health will increase awareness on adolescent pregnancy as a means to address the country’s health population.

To mark this day, the women’s wellness centre at Suva’s CWM Hospital organised an open day to encourage cervical cancer screening and family planning counselling for all women.

This is in addition to the Ministry’s ongoing family planning services programme provided to married couples and young adolescence in relationships who wish to advance their education before starting a family.

These services which are provided at health facilities and nursing stations around Fiji, are intended to empower young women and prevent unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

The ministry hopes to maximise on the opportunity of World Population to highlight challenges which youths encounter and hope to provide for them with practical solutions as a way forward to addressing teenage pregnancies. 

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11:29AM

HEATH COMMITTED TOWARDS MENTAL HEALTH

The Ministry of Health remains committed to the welfare of mental health patients and will ensure that appropriate care is delivered in a timely manner.

As such, Cabinet enacted the Mental Health Decree in 2010 upon which the Mental Health Review Board was appointed by the Health Minister to oversee the affairs of the mental health facility and patients.

The core function of the Review Board is to periodically review the case of every patient receiving care or treatment either voluntarily or involuntarily at a mental health facility under the various sections of the decree.

Upon the recommendations of the Board, patients admitted at the St Giles Hospital for more than three months are reviewed and possibly discharged.

The Review Board consist of five members where the President is a high court Judge, a medical practitioner ,two members having relevant experience or qualification in psychiatric practice and a person representing the mental health service users and their families.

The board ceased to meet after the expiration of the contract of the former president; however the board now meets once a month with the appointment of a new President from the Judiciary.

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12:12PM

FIJI ATTENDS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary, Ropate Ligairi is currently representing the Fijian Government at a technical meeting on biodiversity and genetics for food and agriculture this week.

The Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Plant Genetic Resources, borne out of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, is meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome.

The commission is the only international forum under the FAO that specifically deals with all components of biodiversity for food and agriculture (i.e. plants, animals, aquatic resources, forests, micro-organisms and invertebrates).

The commission was established in 1983 in view of the importance of biodiversity for food and agriculture for global food security and their mandate was to address plant genetic resources. In 1995, this was broadened to include all components of biodiversity for food and agriculture.

Mr Ligairi said the technical working group will look at how governments are implementing and monitoring their policies on food and agriculture issues at the national level.

“Other related issues that this Working group will delve into include Genetic diversity and climate change, Biodiversity and nutrition, application and integration of biotechnologies and access and benefit sharing for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture,” he said.

Fiji and the Cook Islands are members of this Working Group established in May 1997 by the Commission. Other member countries represented are from the Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Arab and North America regions.

Biodiversity for food and agriculture is among the earth’s most important resources and in particular genetic diversity. It is also being lost at an alarming rate with the threats to genetic diversity include a focus on the development and use of only a few commercial crop varieties and breeds of livestock, neglecting locally adapted varieties and breeds, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change.

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12:07PM

VATIA NEW INDUSTRIAL HUB

Vatia in Ba has been earmarked by the Fijian Government as the next big industrial zone in the Western Division. 

This is part of government’s ongoing commitment to further develop economic growth through the provision of equal opportunity for expansion in new areas and not just a few urban centres.

Commissioner Western Division, Mr Joeli Cawaki said the increasing demands of various sectors across the economy has led to this. 

“The Sigatoka – Lautoka corridor has been congested to all different sectors and this is having major traffic in the centres not only for our roads but other infrastructure as well,” Mr Cawaki said. 

“The Vuda Marina is full and it is very close to tourism hotspots and so is Lautoka which has all different industries in unplanned manner.” 

Mr Cawaki said government’s tax free initiatives will lay the foundation for a stronger and more vibrant economy. 

“Right now we are looking at turning Vatia into the next fuel depot in the country so that there is less traffic on our roads and the seas around the Mamanuca Group and also Vatia provides easy access for ships through Bligh Waters,” Mr Cawaki said. 

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