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Fijian Crafters Earning More, Says Koya

The “Fijian Made-Buy Fijian’ campaign is helping local crafters add a few hundred dollars per month to their income.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya, revealed in Parliament yesterday that his ministry had already licenced 93 authentic and genuine Fijian crafters to use the ‘Fijian Crafted’ brand.

“But we did not stop at just providing them with a brand. We have also linked them to the mainstream retail outlets in Fiji. Sixty-five of those licenced crafters are today selling their arts and crafts to major stores such as Jack’s Handicrafts, Prouds and Tappoos,” he said.

“It is worth noting that on average revenue for each of these crafters have increased by $500 per month or $6000 per annum. This means that they have an extra $500 per month to support their family needs and wants.”

The ministry has also partnered with Fiji Airways in screening “Fijian Crafted” commercials on all in-bound flights to Fiji and alerting tourists to look for the “Fijian Crafted’ brand when purchasing souvenirs.

“We have a vision that every product made in Fiji will someday wear the Fijian Made logo, like a badge of honour, which says, yes, this was grown by the hardworking Fijian farmers, crafted by skilful Fijian hands and made in factories with dedicated Fijian workers, earning a living for their families,” Mr Koya said.

The ministerial statement was received well by the Opposition with Viliame Gavoka and Biman Prasad applauding the initiative.  Mr Gavoka favoured the campaign over the casino proposals by the Bainimarama Government.   Mr Prasad suggested the setting up of a Productivity Commission, despite the fact that there is already a Cabinet Minister responsible for Productivity, Jioji Konrote.

(Source: Fiji Sun)