‘44.7% in rural areas’

Minister for Rural, Maritime Development and Disaster Management and Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing Inia Seruiratu. Picture: RAMA/FILE

Close to 44.7 per cent of Fiji’s population live in rural areas, says Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu.

He made the comment during the launch of the ministry’s 10-Year Strategic Development Plan 2021-2031 and Annual Costed Operational Plan 2021-2022 in Lautoka this week.

“Rural areas are often sparsely populated and their importance as protectors of our watersheds and providers of natural resources is often undervalued in comparison to the hustle and bustle of densely packed urban centres,” he said.

Mr Seruiratu said development and resilience of rural and maritime areas was integral to the overall development and resilience of Fiji.

“The abundant natural resources from these rural areas support the economic growth of the country in direct ways such as through agriculture and fisheries and indirectly through climate change resilience, traditional knowledge conversation and quality of life.”

He said development of rural and maritime areas was critical towards transforming Fiji.

“It is important that rural and maritime development be planned in such a way that economic opportunities and the utilisation of natural resources are realised in a sustainable manner.”

He said the ministry’s new strategic plan outlined its concerted effort to bring together the many diverse factors affecting maritime and rural development in a way that was coherent and cohesive.

More Stories