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By CAROLINE RATUCADRA
Women in the Northern Division now have the opportunity to sell their handicraft products to tourists visiting Taveuni Island.
The new business venture is an initiative made possible through a joint effort between the Ministry of Women, the Indonesian Embassy and Tourism Fiji.
The women from maritime areas of Qamea, Yanuca and Taveuni have been urged to seize the opportunity of making money.
Forty women from these islands have undergone a three-week training on “Coconut Craft Development” facilitated by Supriyono Fransiscus Xaverius, an expert from Indonesia at the Waiyevo Women’s Resource Centre.
The women trainees have mastered creactive skills on producing items from coconut shells.
Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, labelled this initiative as a gateway to economically empower the northern women.
“It is better to concentrate on a definite key product and perfect it rather than do a little bit of everything and compromise quality and supply,” she said.
Taveuni district officer, Ilivasi Tuitubou, said the 40 trainees will now go back to their villages and train the women to produce the handicraft items that would be channelled to the tourism market in Taveuni.
“The products will be collected and displayed at the Waiyevo Women’s Resource Centre.
“We have secured the support of Tourism Fiji to organise the tourists on Blue Lagoon cruise ships to visit the centre and buy these products on a monthly basis,” he said.
The next visit is scheduled early next month.
The construction of these women’s resource centres is being co-ordinated by the Fiji Women’s Federation with a budgetary allocation of $1.6 million.