The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and the government are promoting local value adding, which basically means using our own local resources where-ever and when-ever we can.
This was revealed by RBF Governor Barry Whiteside at the Financial Day at Lautoka this week.
Whiteside said this means that we work towards conserving energy and developing and supporting greater use of renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, biomass, bio-diesel and wind farms, where feasible.
“The Reserve Bank has been working with various stakeholders in exploring opportunities to incorporate more local value-added content into food and beverages, renewable energy and handicraft to name just a few,” said Whiteside.
The Fiji National University (FNU) is one of these stakeholders, given its critical role in training a skilled workforce for both the domestic and international markets.
The bank for the past few years have been sponsoring local chef to support and develop innovative new ways of using local foods and produce in our hotel industry, and on resort menus.
In the past, he said, this was an area of concern to the Bank as a lot of the food used in the tourism industry was imported.
Fiji’s Department of Agriculture has come in to be at the forefront in working with various players in the industry.
“As a result, most of the hotels and resorts now use a lot more local produce. In fact a number of hotels have developed their own backyard gardens and are now linked with local suppliers to ensure a steady supply of quality and fresh produce.”
Whiteside has also launched a new recipe book that was compiled by a local chef Simione Toanikeve, whom the Reserve Bank sponsored in 2010 for training in Malaysia.
The recipe book is a product of lessons from Toanikeve’s Malaysian experience, as well as his many years of work experience in the tourism industry both in Fiji, and abroad.
“The book has been written for every chef, whether you work in a large commercial kitchen, small restaurant or home kitchen.”
He said it has been designed to promote the innovative use of locally grown foods and produce.
The book titled “Kana Mada – Fiji Style” was produced through the collaboration of the Fiji National University and the Reserve Bank.
By Ropate Valemei