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Mario Keni

Mario Keni is the village headman of Nabalabala village, one of 12 communities involved in the SDG Fund joint programme in Fiji that involves the organic certification of farmers’ vegetables and root crops and connecting them with domestic markets. Following Cyclone Winston, which devastated Fiji in early 2016, this programme is helping communities get back on their feet and address more long-term challenges such as food security and high levels of unemployment. “There is so much excitement again, we mostly just planted root-crops but our plantations were destroyed and it was hard to start again,” says Mr. Keni. This province has been labelled as one of the poorest in Fiji, but has great potential in the form of resources. The programme will help produce organic niche products and connect agricultural producers to new markets, while providing villagers with training in organic standards and certification.