Home  |  Branches  |  Careers  |  FAQs  |  Feedback
Search
FDB client eases inter-island travel in the yasawas
Print this page   
29 July 2011

 

 
Navitalai Rokete, 53 is a man who has done much to ease the travel needs of people living in the Yasawas.

Originally from Naisisili, Nacula in Yasawa, he is all too familiar
with the hardships of his fellow villagers in terms of sea
transportation to the mainland and decided three years ago to start his own sea transportation business.

A seafarer for over 20 years, Rokete has worked on resorts, fished
and sailed internationally between Fiji and Noumea in New Caledonia, Fiji and New Zealand and between Fiji and Japan. He holds a Class 6 Master in Engineering certificate.

“I’m from the islands and my hobby is sailing. When I saw a need
for inter-island service for the Yasawas, I decided to give it a go,” he said.

Its 9am at the Lautoka wharf and already his passengers are
onboard his 40-foot wooden cutter, the Adi Sulua with their cargo ready to head home with their supplies for the month. Gallons of fuel, cartons of bread, groceries and even hardware are loaded for transport.

“I do my trip twice a week between Lautoka, Yaqeta, Nacula,
Matacawalevu and Yasawas-i-rara,” he said.

“At this time, I am the only one that is providing this type of
regular service to the island and I would like to buy a bigger boat,
maybe a 70 or 80ft one that can carry 30 to 40 passengers.”

Adi Sulua
has a capacity of 18 passengers and depending on their destination, fares range from a reasonable $30 - $50 per person.

Rokete became a client of the Fiji Development Bank in 2010 when
a year after starting his ferry service, his engine broke down and needed replacement. Under the Bank’s Small Business Scheme, he took a loan and bought a 300hp Iveco engine.

FDB’s Small Business Scheme is designed for any entrepreneur
starting out or is already has a business in operation. The purpose of this facility is help the applicant purchase or establish a business including the purchase or construction of buildings, equity investment, purchase of plant and equipment including motor vehicles, provision of working capital and the acquisition of shares. There is no maximum ceiling for this facility but can only be used by businesses with a turnover of up to $100,000.

Business has been good to Rokete, his turns over a decent profit on
the route and looks forward to his son joining him in the business once he’s completed his Master’s in sailing.

 

News Archive
Jul
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Jan
Feb
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Dec
Jan