Rotuma Day 2012
|Rotuman youths welcome the official party|
MEDIA RELEASE: UNITY MOVES ROTUMA FORWAD AT ROTUMA DAY CELEBRATIONS
Fiji’s Minister for Primary Industries Mr Joketani Cokanasiga today (Saturday 12th) officially opened the 131st Rotuma Day Anniversary celebrations at Ahau Government station on the remote island of Rotuma.
At today’s occasion, Minister Cokanasiga highlighted to guests including those that had travelled to the island, that the occasion provides all Fijians the opportunity to renew and strengthen the historical ties between Fiji and Rotuma. “This is a relationship that was forged by our chiefs of ‘Viti kei Rotuma’ (Fiji and Rotuma)”, Minister Cokanasiga said.
The Minister called on the people of Rotuma to reflect on the theme of this years celebration, ‘Unity moves Rotuma Forward’. “My fervent prayer for Rotuma and the people of the island to make it work forge ahead together and let it prosper,” he said.
He also reiterated the Fijian government’s commitment to Rotuma “as enshrined under the Roadmap to Democracy and Susutainable Socio-Economic Development”.
Highlighting Rotuma’s vast resources including its rich volcanic soil which has the potential to produce high yield and increased agricultural production, Minister Cokanasiga said this provides an opportunity to stimulate trade between Rotuma and other parts of the country.
“Under the Fiji Government social development vision, the focus for development include reducing poverty, avoiding early dropout, quality education and improving health. It is the platform for implementation of socio economic programmes on the island and is supported by other new initiatives that the government has put in place”.
The Minister today also opened the High Temperature Forced Air Treatment (HTFA) to facilitate trade not only between Rotuma and other parts of Fiji but also with island countries.
“The declaration of Rotuma as an international port of entry, the facilitation of trade between Tuvalu and Rotuma will also open up opportunities on small business and tourism.” He said the development of Biosecurity on the island in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to facilitate the trade between the two countries and boarder control development will help Rotuma achieve her aim.
Minister Cokanasiga said the idea of trade between Rotuma and Tuvalu was initiated by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. “This resulted in trade consultation with Tuvalu and other Pacific islands in the near future so the installation of the HTFA treatment facility will improve export of Rotuman crops to Tuvalu and later to Kiribati other regional countries and help sustain the islands economy,” Cokanasiga said.