June 25, 2021
Picture: Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy and
An agreement to provide further support to Fiji’s Dairy Industry, Rice Industry Development, Root Crop Diversification, Water Resources Management and other areas of agriculture development such as food processing, value addition, and market access was signed between the Governments of Fiji and India.
The virtual signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was done between Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy and his Indian counterpart – Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Hon. Shri Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday evening (22.6.21).
“These joint activities and programmes will be achieved through technical support, exchange of scientific materials and training,” the Hon Dr Reddy said.
He said the event marked another very important milestone in the Ministry’s Bilateral Engagement Calendar.
“I’m candidly grateful to the Government of the Republic of India for agreeing to finalise this commitment that will contribute significantly to the development of Fiji’s agriculture sector,” the Minister said.
“This MoU and its accompanying plan will help Fiji foster progress and bring our work in line with the goals set out in the Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Development Plan 2019-2023 which considers targets of 5 year and 20 year National Development Plan, focusing on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Minister Reddy explained to his Indian counterpart, Hon. Tomar how his Ministry was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic where an Agriculture Growth and Expansion Plan was designed to focus on initiatives to support priorities of the Agriculture five year Strategic Development Plan (2019-2023).
“The plan includes long term food and nutrition security through distribution of seeds and seedlings to rural and urban communities, support commercial agriculture ventures through investment promotion, construction and upgrade of farm roads to create market access, establishment of nursery and orchards to ensure a sustainable and extensive seed bank,” he said.
In addition, Hon. Dr Reddy said progressively, the plan focused on expanding agriculture to its full potential to raise national income and become the leading export earner for the country and at the same time addressed key objectives of improving rural livelihoods.
Those that attended the virtual signing ceremony included Acting Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. Saifullah Khan, Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, H.E. Kamlesh Sashi Prakash, and delegations from both the Ministry of Agriculture Fiji and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare India.