India, Fiji sign MoU for cooperation in agriculture

India and Fiji on Tuesday signed an agreement for co-operation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors. Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture, Waterways & Environment Mahendra Reddy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors between India and Fiji.

The MoU was signed in a virtual meeting, an official statement said.

The MoU will remain valid for a period of five years.

Speaking at the event, Tomar said India has helped all the countries during the COVID pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The prime minister has focused on agriculture and the development of villages from the very beginning, he added.

In this direction, Tomar highlighted that the government has taken many concrete steps like setting up of Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and creation of 10,000 FPOs.

During the pandemic, he said loans worth Rs 2 lakh crore have been given to the farmers.

Tomar said that cordial and friendly relations between India and Fiji are based on mutual respect, cooperation, and strong cultural and people-to-people ties.

Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Fiji and the first Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation have given a new impetus to India’s engagement with Fiji and the Pacific region, the statement said.

The signing of this MoU will prove to be a milestone in further strengthening the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

Tomar said, “food and agriculture are closely related to climate change. Both countries are cooperating in dealing with global challenges in this regard.”

The minister said that India has been able to distribute about 7 tonnes of seeds of 14 varieties of fruits and vegetables as a grant to Fiji for the livelihood restoration of communities affected by Cyclone Yasa.

Fiji’s Minister said that both countries will keep their mutual relations dynamic in the same spirit.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of dairy and rice industry development, root crop diversification, water resources management, coconut industry development, food processing industry development, agriculture mechanisation, horticulture industry Development, Agri research, Animal Husbandry, pest and disease, value addition and marketing, post-harvest and milling, breeding and agronomy.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of Fiji will be the executing agencies from respective sides.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group will be established to set down procedures and plan and recommend programmes of cooperation towards achieving its aims.

The Working Group will hold its meetings alternatively in India and Fiji once every two years.

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