Mau village in Namosi Province this week witnessed the display of delicious products made from seaweed. Products like noodles, jam, juice, sauce, and sausages made out of seaweed were put up by the women and youth who had the opportunity to be trained in the, “International Training on Small Medium Enterprise Sector on Seaweed Production.”
The 9-day training was organised as a joint venture between the Government of Indonesia and Fiji’s Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry which also saw the arrival of 3 Indonesian seaweed experts as facilitators of this training. The 32 participants were awarded with certificates by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Fiji, HE Aidil Chandra Salim and the Minister for Women, Dr Jiko Luveni this week.
In his closing remarks, Ambassador Salim congratulated all the participants and challenged them to use their skills and progress in small medium enterprise in seaweed.
“This training has provided very simple techniques which have been profitable in Indonesia and I am sure will produce similar results for Fiji. The techniques are environment friendly and it will develop the skills of women and youths to pursue home based businesses. Indonesia is glad to provide this assistance and partner with ministry of women to create income generating opportunities for people in Fiji,” he said.
Dr Luveni thanked the Indonesian government for this assistance adding that this initiative will complement government’s effort to develop the skills and resources in rural communities to open up economic opportunities and alleviate poverty in Fiji.
Indonesian seaweed expert, Mrs Maria Gigih Setiarti said that the trainees have great potential and they should be provided with further training to diversify their skills.
“The different species of seaweed have different use for example cottonii is best for processing food items. Seaweed products are healthy to eat and are highly rich in fibre and protein. We look forward to return next year and train these people on making cosmetics and skin care products from seaweed. Now Fiji doesn’t have to import seaweed as these trainees are well equipped with skills in seaweed cultivation techniques, processing and product promotion and marketing,” she said.
The Namosi Province youth coordinator and also one of the participants, Mr Alexander Tuiverata described the training as an enlightening experience for youths.
“After this training we will get all the unemployed youths especially those living near to the coastline to utilise seaweed as their source of income. This is a positive beginning for Mau village and our message for all the youths around Fiji is that there are lot of opportunities for growth. We should try to utilise the resources around us to generate income for our families and communities,” Mr Tuiverata added.