$4700 support for diversification

Permanent secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Shaheen Ali with Joseva Tagica and staff of MSME Fiji from the ministry. Picture: SUPPLIED

Joseva Tagica is a farmer and has been operating a canteen business for more than 15 years in Natumua Village, Kadavu.

The owner of Joseva Tagica Investment has diversified into a bakery business, which according to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, is the only one in the Tavuki district, serving six surrounding villages including Solodamu, Waisomo, Baidamudamu, Nukunuku, Tavuki and of course Natumua.

Last week the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport permanent secretary Shaheen Ali handed over bakery equipment — commercial dough mixer — worth $4700 to Mr Tagica. This was made possible through the ministry’s Integrated Human Resources Development Programme (IHRDP).

Mr Ali said micro, small and medium enterprises would play a key role in our economic recovery and growth and he understood how MSMEs to grow, diversify and become sustainable was a key priority of the Fijian Government.

“We are confident that the commercial dough mixer will boost efficiency in production of your bakery businesses and we hope it enables you to meet the demand of the people in Kadavu.

“It is commendable that you have employed five (5) youth in your business. By expanding your business, we know you will create more job opportunities in Kadavu,” Mr Ali said.

He acknowledged that Mr Tagica shared the national vision in adopting green practices by utilising renewable energy through the use of solar panels for the operations of his businesses.

In exchange Mr Tagica said he was happy and grateful to be assisted by the ministry through the Integrated Human Resources Development Programme.

“This commercial dough mixer will definitely boost my bakery business and I’m looking forward to taking it back to Kadavu to serve my community,” said Mr Tagica.

He encouraged other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to take advantage of available opportunities in the country and contact the MCTTT for advice and support.

“I would like to advise MSMEs to take advantage of opportunities that are presently available. You need to keep knocking on doors and cannot wait for the assistance,” said Mr Tagica.

Mr Tagica was assisted through the IHRDP, with a one third – two third partnership between the MCTTT and MSMEs.

Mr Ali said the IHRDP was a successful proven model whereby there was genuine partnership between the Government and rural based businesses.

The IHRDP grant has been allocated a sum of $500,000 in the 2022/2023 financial year and applications are currently open which can be accessed through our website www.mcttt.gov.fj or application form can be accessed directly on https://bit.ly/3LFh8Yu

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