Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo (left) in discussion with Permanent Secretary Meleti Bainimarama (center) at the rural development symposium at the Tanoa International, Hotel, Nadi, on April 16, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO
Fiji’s strength, much like China’s, lies in the rural agricultural sector, says the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo.
Mr Qian was attending a Rural Development Symposium yesterday in Nadi, contributing to discussions with various other stakeholders on how to boost rural development in Fiji.
Mr Qian said the Fijian Government’s five-year and 20-year National Development Plan consisted of two prongs: ‘Inclusive social-economic development” and “transforming strategic thrusts.’
He said Chinese President Xi Jinping placed great importance on rural issues such as agriculture.
“He pointed out that if China wants to be strong, agriculture must be strong, if China wants to be beautiful, the country side must be beautiful and If China wants to get rich, the farmers must get rich.”
Mr Qian related these points to the current progression and the attitude that must be driven to Fiji’s rural agricultural sector.
Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Meleti Bainimarama said the theme was “a reflection of the ministry’s vision to assist the rural populace in improving their livelihoods, living standards and create an enabling environment for effective governance.
“It is something that goes hand in hand with the government’s 20-year development plan and the ministry’s three-year strategic plan,” Mr Bainimarama said.
He said they would be using the symposium as a platform to get feedback from various stakeholders.
He said ideas on how better roads could be built, getting better regional water plans, accessing electricity and simplifying accessibility for members of the public to these basic services were discussed.
Source: Fiji Sun Online | April 17, 2018 | Link: http://fijisun.com.fj/2018/04/17/stakeholders-share-ideas-on-rural-development-policy/