Financial assistance for farmers

Salaseini Moceiwai, The Fiji Times Friday, October 24, 2014

EMPOWER Pacific has assisted about 300 people financially in the cane belt areas of Macuata under its rural credit scheme.

In an interview during the Labasa market vendors' Diwali celebration on Wednesday, the organisation's northern branch manager, Nanise Waqamailau, said the three-year scheme was funded by the European Union.

"This is an alternative source of income for those associated with the sugar industry, most of whom are market vendors," Mrs Waqamailau said.

"We support economic sustainability and also the enhancement of the potential of the vulnerable ones in society.

"For the whole of the Macuata area, we have so far assisted more than 300 people but for the Labasa market alone, about 100 vendors have so far benefitted from the scheme.

"The scheme prioritises people living in the cane belt areas of Macuata but we are also planning to further extend such assistance to other parts of the North in the future."

Mrs Waqamailau added the EU-funded scheme was expected to end next month.

She said they would continue with their assistance to those who needed it from those areas.

"Empower Pacific is all about supporting economic sustainability and we are working in partnership with other stakeholders to help the vulnerable ones in society."