The Grand Council of Chiefs (GCC) should consider how to lift the Itaukei people out of poverty by finding ways to increase their wealth and put money in their pockets.
This is the sentiment expressed by Linda Tabuya, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
“That’s one of the purposes of the Conference of Mayors: to seriously consider how iTaukei can be richer in terms of the amount of income they put in their pocket, the amount of cash they take with them at the end of the day. she said.
Tabuya also said the GCC should consider defining poverty in relation to iTaukei.
“If the High Chiefs’ Council and the issue of poverty come into conflict, I believe the High Chiefs’ Council will consider the Itaukei definition of poverty.
“The chief council will deal with issues such as land ownership.
“A reassessment of what wealth is and what income-generating activities are likely to look at iTaukei co-ownership of land and the relative poverty, including dollar value, that they face. I believe that is very high and resource rich in our cash crops.”
She said it is important that the iTaukei people’s wealth is assessed based on land tenure, crops in cultivation and iqoliqoli opportunities.
Tabya said one of the biggest challenges for the GCC is finding ways to generate sustainable income and turn around the “resource-rich versus cash-poor” picture.
She said the statistic that 75 percent of the poor are iTaukei deserves urgent attention.