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Monday, June 18, 2007

Call made to promote Cottage Industries

A call has been made to promote the growth and development of cottage industries to help alleviate poverty. The call was made by the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) at the Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress currently underway at The Fijian Resort, Sigatoka, Fiji.

FRIEND said that the growth of this industry will help absorb surplus labour force located in the rural and peri-urban areas.

Read more on the story from the article in the Fiji Times, of Saturday, 16 June 2007, appended below.

"Develop cottage industry: Kiran, Saturday, June 16, 2007

Growth and development of cottage industry could help to alleviate poverty, says the executive director and founder of Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND).

Sashi Kiran said the growth of this industry could also absorb labour force especially in rural and peri-urban centres.

She made this comments yesterday at the Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort in Sigatoka.

Cottage industry is a home-based or production centre-based industry using local resources and labour with or without external input to create a marketable product.

She said in Fiji the cottage industry was under developed.

"Take mats for example because of its importance in traditional ceremonies it has become a cottage industry," Ms Kiran said.

All development agencies and government arms need to support and ensure growth of these small industries, she said.

"We have the infrastructure for support we need planning, support and linkages and efficient services from agencies like the agro marketing," she said.

She said social empowerment processes were important for the growth of this industry.

Ms Kiran said some of the supported cottage industries were cut flower, honey, cards, handicraft, chutney, pickles and jams.

Ms Kiran said FRIEND conducts esteem building training, budgeting, saving options, Occupational Health and Safety and training for items produced in the community kitchen.

Ms Kiran said people in the cottage industry needed to think outside the box' and create new items and designs to meet the changing demands of the market.

She said some of the challenges included creating new craft designs out of the old to be able to sustain in the industry. "

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