India and Fiji on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
The agreement was signed by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy during a virtual meeting, the Government of India said in a statement.
India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture will be the Executing Agencies from respective sides.
The signing of this MoU today will prove to be a milestone in further strengthening the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries, Tomar asserted.
During the meeting, he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focused on agriculture and the development of villages from the very beginning.
Stressing that cordial and friendly relations between India and Fiji are based on mutual respect, cooperation and strong cultural and people-to-people ties, he said: “Prime Minister Modi’s 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.”
On cooperation between both the countries, he said: “Food and agriculture are closely related to climate change. Both countries are cooperating in dealing with global challenges in this regard. Despite the COVID pandemic, we have been able to distribute about 7 tonnes of seeds of 14 varieties of fruits and vegetables as requested by Fiji, as a grant from the Government of India, for the livelihood restoration of communities affected by Cyclone Yasa.”
Fiji’s Minister Dr Reddy expressed happiness over the signing of the MoU, stating that both countries will keep their mutual relations dynamic in the same spirit.
The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of Dairy Industry Development, Rice Industry Development, Root crop diversification, Water Resources Management, Coconut Industry Development, Food Processing Industry Development, Agriculture Mechanization, Horticulture Industry Development, Agricultural Research, Animal Husbandry, Pest and Disease, Cultivation, Value Addition and Marketing, Post-Harvest and Milling, Breeding and Agronomy.
Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group will be established to set down procedures and plan and recommend programs of cooperation towards achieving its aims. The Working Group will hold its meetings alternately in India and Fiji once every two years.
The MoU will remain valid for a period of five years from the date of its signing and any variation to its duration will be approved in writing by both Parties.