BSP, Fiji's leading financial services provider has commended the organisers and participants of the Pacific Financial Inclusion Innovation Summit held recently in Papua New Guinea.
The Banks' Senior Manager for Rural & Microfinance Isikeli Taoi was an invited to share BSP's experience and contribution to Fiji's rural based agricultural entrepreneurs through a partnership with Partners in Community Development Fiji (PCDF).
BSP successfully adopted a pilot program with PCDF known as the Partnership in High Value Agriculture (PHVA) project empowering farmers in Nadarivatu, located 25km from the nearest town, Tavua, and 900 metres above sea level.
Mr Taoi made numerous trips to Nadarivatu where temperatures are known to drop as low as 9.1 degrees to reach these isolated and budding entrepreneurs to open bank accounts, issue debit cards instantly, connect them to self-help electronic banking services and offer loan services so they could grow their wealth.
"Through this PCDF PHVA project, we were able to introduce a number of these rural entrepreneurs to formal banking services," said Mr Taoi. "The experience has opened new opportunities for growth for these entrepreneurs. This is visible in how some have diversified from being totally reliant on crops to establishing their own canteens, transportation services and more."
"We are awed by geographic challenges these individuals endure in their daily lives and their SME businesses. We are humbled by the role we play in promoting efficient, effective and sound financial services that will be conducive to development and growth. ," assured Mr Taoi.
The bank has commended the co-convenors of this year's summit, Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and the Foundation for the Development Cooperation (FDC) for recognising BSP's contribution to empower Fiji's rural communities and drawing from this experience to add value to this regional event.
BSP has committed over $5M since entering Fiji in 2010, giving back to Fijian communities that empower citizens and are continuing to make this contribution through their branch networks across the country.