Parliament

SODELPA’s motion to remove $3.57m allocated for ‘Free Milk Programme’ defeated

Opposition MP Hon. Semesa Karavaki today moved a motion to remove the $3.57 million for the Free Milk Programme for Year 1 students was defeated during the committee stage debate of 2016-17 National Budget in parliament. Hon. Karavaki said that there is a lot of scientific research which shows that animal milk is not good […]

Staff Writers

July 6, 2016 4:49 pm

Opposition MP Hon. Semesa Karavaki today moved a motion to remove the $3.57 million for the Free Milk Programme for Year 1 students was defeated during the committee stage debate of 2016-17 National Budget in parliament.

semesa-karavaki-sitting
Opposition MP Hon. Semesa Karavaki in parliament. (Parliament of the Republic of Fiji)

Hon. Karavaki said that there is a lot of scientific research which shows that animal milk is not good for children and adults.

Hon. Karavaki said that this is the time that growing children will need fruits and vegetables be part of their diet and not milk.

KARAVAKI: “The intention of this program is clear, to provide milk in order to provide calcium to the children. Researchers and most of us think that calcium comes from milk but the most important diet available to human beings are fruit and vegetables.”

The program has been allocated $3.57million under the Primary Education in Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts.

Hon. Karavaki went on to say that the Parliament should bring reform to this area and that the amount allocated to the program be removed.

KARAVAKI: “This is totally unnessary because if our young continue to drink milk, this has proven to contribute to NCD’s that is one of the heath enemies we are trying to fight.”

Hon. Salote Radrodro supported the motion and said that having $3.57million allocated to the program should be reduced or removed as a whole.

RADRODRO: “Ask the parents, I request the Hon. Minister for Education to go ask the parents do they want free milk?.”

Hon. Jiosefa Duilakivereta also supported the motion saying that the government should review some of its programmes such as the ‘Free Milk Initiative’.

DULAKIVERATA: “Madam Speaker, only one person is supplying this free milk to schools if we look at other healthy living alternatives where you can provide fruit juice and fruits to all the schools and the community could part take in this and everybody could benefit from this.”

Hon. Niko Nawaikula also supported the motion by Hon. Karavaki saying that it is not a laughing matter.

NAWAIKULA: “There are a lot of problems in dairy products when I was in the US no one was drinking this…they were drinking milk from nuts and I asked them how do you expect us to put milk in the porridge? and they said squeeze the milk from the coconuts which is much healthier than the milk from the cows which causes a lot of problems.”

Hon. Mikaele Leawere said the children of Fiji are not malnourished and that they do not need the milk and that someone was making money out of the milk programme.

In his right of reply, Hon. Semesa Karavaki said the motion was for the betterment of the children of Fiji now and the future.

The motion was defeated with 15 members voting yes, 30 voted against the motion, and 5 did not vote.

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