November 7, 2020

Picture: Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy addresses farmers at Nanoko Village, Navatusila in the Nadroga/Navosa Province on Thursday (5.11.20). Seated next to him (facing camera on the right) is Agromarketing Authority CEO, Mr Alvin Sharma

It is due to the strong leadership shown by the Hon. Prime Minister, the Hon. Attorney-General and the Hon. Health Minister that all Fijians remain safe from COVID-19, says Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy. 

He echoed these sentiments during his visit to the West this week to conduct informal discussions with five cluster farmers’ groups who had recently signed up or were in the process of signing up to be contracted by Fiji Agromarketing Authority via the New Valley Farmers’ Cluster in Sabeto. 

“I want to thank our Honorable Prime Minister, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and the Honorable Minister for Health for taking strong and decisive steps in protecting all of us from COVID-19 that allows us to meet like this. 

“We all see what’s happening in America, India, Europe, and France – there is a massive spread of COVID-19. 

“But we here in Fiji are lucky that we do not have community transmission. If there was community transmission, we would not be able to meet like this,” the Hon. Dr Reddy said. 

The Minister informed the farmers it was by God’s grace and by the initiative of Fiji’s leaders that Fijians could live their lives as normally as possible while practicing COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Today, we can have Ramayan, we can play rugby or soccer; we can meet in a mosque or a temple because we don’t have any community transmission of COVID-19.” 

He said the Hon. PM also remembered those Fijian who were stuck abroad and needed to return home. 

“He opened the borders for our people who were away studying or for those who needed urgent medical surgeries abroad. 

“It is for those reasons that we have some cases in quarantine. However, thanks to the strict quarantine measures in place, we can be rest assured, that these cases are receiving the necessary attention and care,” he said. 

The Hon. Dr Reddy said in addition, the Hon. Attorney-General was doing all he could to assist households that were severely affected by the impact of COVID-19. 

“Just this week, the Hon. Minister for Economy launched Government’s Stronger Together Job Support Scheme where Government will pay the minimum wage rate of $2.68 to new employees recruited by companies that registered under this initiative. 

“So he is trying his best to see how households who are affected can be best assisted.” 

The Hon. Dr Reddy began his three-day visit with farmers of Navilawa Village, Sabeto on Wednesday (4.11.20); then Drasa Johnson Farmer’s Cluster, Lautoka; Nanoko Village, Navatusila; Vatia Farmers 

Cluster in Tavua; and Nandhari Farmers Cluster in Ba; before concluding his visit to the West on Friday (6.11.20)