June 25, 2021
Picture: Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy and
India’s support during Fiji’s challenging times has been highly commended by Government following the virtual signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for agriculture support early this week.
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy acknowledged India’s support in sending a consignment of 7 tons of seeds to Fiji as grant assistance for restoration of affected communities earlier this year, following TC Yasa.
“Furthermore, during the devastating aftermath of TC Winston in 2016, Fiji was fortunate to have received assistance of 5 tonnes of seeds from India which was specially transported on board Indian Naval Ship [INS] Sumitra to support and provide rehabilitation to victims,” he said.
He also highlighted that in 2018 to support development of agriculture infrastructure, the Indian Government donated tractors to support farmers in the Central Division.
Hon. Dr Reddy explained India’s continuous support to Fiji dated back to the 1800s.
He said Fiji and India relations was an on-going commitment that had grown steadily with continued arrangements that strengthened both country’s development cooperation.
Dr Reddy highlighted in 2006, Fiji signed a Development Cooperation with India through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which covered areas such as agriculture, fisheries and industrial waste management.
“The Ministry of Agriculture Fiji, signed its first Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Agriculture India in 2014 on cooperation in the Field of Water Resource Management. Also in 2014, the Ministry signed an Agreement with India’s International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and in that same year commenced collaboration on the Memorandum of Understanding that we will be signing off today,” he said.
In addition, Minister Reddy explained between 2016 and 2020, through Research and Scientific support, India provided the Ministry with the following technical experts – Coconut specialists to help revitalize Fiji’s coconut industry; a Spice consultant to review spice cultivation practices and a Food technologist to assist with Value addition.
“The dedication and confidence shown by the Indian Government today to sign this agreement to improve Agriculture Development Services and lives of Fijians is highly acknowledged and appreciated.”