The new Chair of the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC), Mr Steve Chand, has set eyes on Navuso Agriculture Technical Institute (NATI) and believes that the institution could be empowered to achieve its dream to be the hub of agriculture education in Fiji and the region.
Visiting NATI as part of a consultation programme by the FHEC, Mr Chand expressed his pride in the institute. “You have come a long way and will celebrate your centennial anniversary this year. Hearing your story, many people in Fiji don’t know who you are today as an institution,” Mr Chand explained.
The FHEC Chair received a brief from NATI Principal, Mr Saimoni Waibuta, on current programmes, development, and future plans. The institution is offering an attractive education package with incentives to start off their graduates.
“We train farmers, and we want our graduates to return to a piece of land and be its proud guardian. The number of farmers is decreasing in Fiji, and we want to address that national issue,” described Mr Waibuta.
Mr Waibuta also explained that they vision NATI to be the first choice for young people who wish to pursue agriculture training at this level.
FHEC Director, Dr Rohit Kishore highlighted that the programme at NATI should be more adequately marketed to secondary school students taking agriculture lessons.
In addition, Dr Kishore assured Mr Waibuta and his staff that they will receive the government grant they have applied for.
It’s the first time for NATI to be the recipient of the grant.