Rural Development In Fiji Case Study

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Fiji, a country and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprises 333 islands and 522 smaller islets (SPC 2008, p.1). Around 106 of these islands are permanently inhabited with the total estimated population of 900,000 (UNDP 2015). An estimate of 49% of the total population live in the rural areas (UNDP 2015), while around 90% of the population in Fiji live in the coastal lowlands area (Nunn et al. 1993). Fiji has a total land area of 18,274 km2, of which 87% is accounted for the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu (Leslie and Ratukalou 2006). Around 9% of the total land area is arable land suitable for agricultural purposes.
Source: Maps of the World 2016.
Compared to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has relatively high
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The programmes of these two administrations to development the rural sector of Fiji were designed to improve the water supply and sanitation systems of the rural villages, accessibility to health and education services and provision of housing and electricity (Dubsky 1986).
Despite these policies and programmes, there remained a high inequality gap between the development of the urban and rural sectors. While there have been studies explaining the reasons for this development gap, for example, problems with sugarcane industry and land tenure issues (Burns 1960), this research project focuses on three factors of the challenges to rural sector development in Fiji. These challenges include: i) the legacies of colonialism in Fiji, ii) political instability in the country since late 1980s and iii) the socio-economic and environmental factors.
Major issues of rural sector
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This report has also outline some of the relevant measures and strategies that could be employed by the Fiji Government and NGOs to solve issues and ineffective plans relating to rural development. In my opinion, all efforts of national rural development plans should be focusing to improve the social and economic status and representation of the rural people to achieve desired success prosperity.
Creation of consumerism, provision of urban good and services for rural people, and mindless urbanization of rural areas cannot be considered as rural development in Fiji. Without the improvements in basic services such as communication, transportation, health and education infrastructure and sanitation, the betterment and development of the rural areas and outer islands in Fiji will remain a dream. Therefore, I suggest strong and directed research together with improvements in Fiji’s rural development legal policies would be a possible pre-requisite for rural people to move forward and

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