Resort benefits villagers.

The then Minister of Agriculture Jonati Mavoa, right, doing the rounds of the resort complex on Naigani Island. In the foreground is Mr John Williams and in the background are other officials eith Mrs Williams. Picture: FT File.

AN island in the Tailevu North district was becoming a popular tourist destination while developing its agricultural potential in the process, according to a report in The Fiji Times on January 15, 1982.

Naigani Island, about 40 minutes boat ride from the Natovi Jetty on the Tailevu Coast, was not so well known on the local scene, but was developed into a haven for visitors who wished to get away from it all.

With a rapid development on the tourist resort, people of the only village on the island found an ever-increasing outlet for various farm produce which enabled villagers to improve their amenities.

The resort had also provided employment for the islanders.

John Williams, the owner of the resort, said the money circulation on the island had improved considerably since the establishment of the resort.

“The resort is expanding with some construction works underway, and there are big plans eventually to turn the resort into a large villa complex,” he said.

Mr Williams said the resort used as much local food as possible including fish or seafood, bananas, vegetables and root crops.

“With a gradual increase in occupancy rate at the resort, there is a large potential for them to derive more benefit in years to come.”

The then Minister for Agriculture Jonati Mavoa was told at a meeting with Mr Williams and the villagers there were plans to establish a piggery and a methane gas plant as a joint enterprise, which would cater mainly for the resort and the village.

Money for the project was to be provided by Mr Williams. The Agriculture Department provided advisory service to help set-up the piggery. The resort was also looking into the possibility of engaging in other agricultural activities which would fulfil its own needs for meat and vegetables.

Mr Mavoa told the villagers they should work harder to capitalise on what he termed “a golden chance” to derive maximum benefit from a ready outlet a few metres away from the village.

The minister also toured Makogai Island to inspect progress on a sheep-breeding program and other developmental activities on the island.

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