The increasing trend of rural to urban migration is putting stress on urban systems and resources.
This was highlighted by Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Sakiasi Ditoka during his recent tour of Taveuni this week.
Ditoka adds only 45 percent of Fiji’s population now live in rural areas compared to 67 percent in 1996.
He also highlights the critical need for effective consultations with authorities to formulate strategies aimed at retaining the rural population.
“So something that we will need to sit down and discuss with members of provincial councils and maybe raise it even to the great Council of Chiefs level and at government level, we’ll probably discuss it at cabinet and eventually work out some policies and some strategies.”
Ditoka emphasizes how vocational centers like the Tutu Rural Training Center in Taveuni empower youths to contribute to their communities.
“So if it’s working, then it means that it can be replicated, and we believe that we can replicate it in the strategies and policies that we now aim to formulate in trying to keep our young people in the villages.”
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development stresses the urgency of proactive measures and strategies for sustaining vibrant rural communities.