Minister Reddy thanks India for vegetable seeds

September 1, 2021

Picture:  Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy (right) and the Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Palaniswamy Subramanyan Karthigeyan during the handing over of seeds.

Almost seven tonnes of dry vegetable seeds of 14 different varieties were received today by the Fijian Government through from Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Palaniswamy Subramanyan Karthigeyan.

Expressing appreciation, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy said receiving the seeds could not have come at a better time.

“This consignment will certainly boost our food security work on the ground. We will be able to undertake country-wide support for food security and expand our support for commercial and export agriculture as well,” the Minister said.

Dr Reddy commended India for coming to the Ministry of Agriculture’s aid when it needed to bolster its food security and export agriculture programs to better assist Fijian households following the recent disasters.

“The first assistance was provided in 2016, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston when we received 5 tonnes of seeds to assist us with our Agriculture rehabilitation and food security works. Last year, following TC Yasa and Ana, we again turned to India to seek assistance to secure affected households with regards to food security. As we were preparing to receive it, we were struck by the COVID-19 pandemic which worsened the food security on the ground,” the Minister explained.

He said Fiji was a small country that may not be able to reciprocate in the same quantum, but Fijians would always have a block support for India.

“I, once again on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Fiji, sincerely acknowledge this kind gesture by the Government of the Republic of India, and assure you that his assistance will go a long way in providing food and nutritional security to all Fijian families during these challenging times,” Dr Reddy said.

The 14 varieties of seeds that were handed over today include eggplant, cauliflower, guar, yard long bean, French bean, muskmelon, English cabbage, watermelon, capsicum, sponge gourd, okra, tomato, cucumber, and bitter gourd.