The economic activity and contribution of Garden Creation Cluster in Nadi has received commendation and recognition for the group’s concerted participation in the floriculture industry. While officiating at the handing over of greenhouse materials to members of the floriculture cluster in Nawaka, Nadi yesterday, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy said their efforts served as an inspiration to other clusters and women’s groups, as there was no substitute for hard work.
“I see you as an inspiration for our younger generation and other potential floriculturists around the country to look at niche areas because you had created something for yourselves without coming to us or seeking opportunities in the formal employment sector to ask for jobs, and for this reason, we really value and appreciate your clusters’ efforts,” he said.
“Your contribution (as floriculturists) to the economy has always been under-valued, you feature everywhere from events such as weddings, funerals, engagements etc, your contribution to the economy is very rarely recognised,” he added.
Minister Reddy said as self-starters, members of Garden Creation Cluster deserved praise and recognition, which hadn’t been forthcoming for all floriculture enthusiasts nationwide stating;
“Your engagement through your own employment has not been fully recognised, your economic activity is worth noting because you’re self-starters, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a business person and no one has said this about your activity, you are valued and you are not forgotten.
“We want you to grow, we want you to further nourish and expand your talent, it is your attribute and is a skill-set which you have acquired yourselves and Government is proud of you, which is why we are here to assist you all,” said Hon. Reddy. Garden Creation Cluster secretary, Nazmin Khan acknowledged the Ministry of Agriculture’s support towards their cluster as it had played a vital role in sustaining the economic effect on the lives of their families and business.
“Garden Creation Cluster Group Nadi gives its assurances to make the floriculture industry flourish and to mark the venture as a success story for others. Through our efforts, we hope to encourage other cluster groups and ladies to reach out and to work to improve their livelihoods,” said Ms. Khan.
“The onus is now on our members to turn our plans into action and to lead the way to a successful model and business and to ensure this assistance is not put to waste,” she said. Cluster group member Rajeshwari Devi said the assistance fulfilled the promise made by Government to ensure the inclusive economic development and prosperity for all Fijians.
“I want to say a big vinaka vakalevu to the Hon. Minister and the Ministry as this handing over signifies your commitment to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in agriculture sector, as you’ve helped us to project our intended achievements, identify the gaps and helped us to address our challenges,” said Mrs. Devi.
Meanwhile, members of Garden Creation Cluster were reminded of the upcoming Floriculture Market Day which would be held this Saturday 27th February and would be held every last Saturday of every month at an ideal location within the respective municipalities.