Agricultural training for rural Fijians

Tutu Rural Training Centre equips young people in Fiji to be successful farmers on their own land and make a positive, productive contribution to their communities.

Tutu agricultural training centre Fiji

About the program

Youth unemployment, together with limited support for rural livelihoods, has emerged for decades as a major intractable problem for Fiji and the Pacific island countries.

People are increasingly moving to urban centres to find formal employment. However, jobs are limited and 60 percent of people in full-time formal employment are earning wages below the poverty line. Rural areas, despite outmigration, continue to be the home for half of Fiji‘s population. Fiji‘s key exports are rural based, providing the greatest potential for future development and prosperity, particularly in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors.

Caritas Australia’s partner, the Tutu Rural Training Centre (Tutu) was established by the Society of Mary on Taveuni in 1969. The mission statement of the Centre is to provide a place/presence in which the people of Cakaudrove are empowered to become more autonomous and take charge of their lives in a rapidly changing world.

The Centre offers programs to prepare community members for rural self-employment. The courses now offered are the Young Farmers, Married Couples and Young Women's Course.

The Young Farmers Course (YFC) was first introduced in 1983, The aim is to help form and train young single men from the province of Cakaudrove to be autonomous, responsible and mature young adults, who are able to take control of their own lives and live productively as self-employed farmers on their own land.

The Tutu Rural Training Centre has had a major impact on the people of the province of Cakaudrove. Nearly 2,000 young people have completed the various courses on offer over the last 42 years. Most of the graduates from courses returned to productive lives, earning a livelihood from the farming of their own land.

Eric and Ma

Eric and Ma

Over the years, Eric and Ma have worked hard to establish a farm that provides a sustainable food source for life and an ongoing income stream that has allowed them to raise and educate their six children, who are now raising families of their own.

Training received at Tutu has helped the farm and the family to flourish. Most of their daily food is grown in their own fields. Growing their own food helps the family avoid the serious health problems that many Fijians experience due to a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets.

Eric and Ma feature in Project Compassion 2015. Read more »

Without Tutu we wouldn’t be here where we are now, and it’s only possible thanks to you wonderful people of Australia.”

Program details

  • Issues: Food security and agriculture; Water and sanitation
  • Partner Agency: Tutu Rural Training Centre
  • Funding in 2014/15 financial year: AU $55,500
  • Geographic location: Tutu, Cakaudrove, Taveuni
  • When established: 2007
  • This program is supported by Australian Aid