Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Dr Mahendra Reddy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors between India and Fiji in a digital meeting.

Sharing his views on this occasion, Tomar stated that India has faith in the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’. India has assisted all the countries in the same spirit even during the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tomar declared that Prime Minister Modi has emphasized on agriculture and the development of villages from the very beginning. In this regard, many firm steps have been taken in the country such as setting up of 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and generation of 10 thousand FPOs. During the Corona pandemic, loans worth Rs 2 lakh crore have been given to the farmers and as a consequence more production and earning has been achieved than earlier.

Tomar asserted that cordial and amiable relations between India and Fiji are relied upon mutual respect, cooperation and robust cultural and people-to-people ties. Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Fiji and the first Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation has given a new push to India’s engagement with Fiji and the Pacific region. The signing of this MoU will prove to be a breakthrough in further reinforcing the multi-faceted cooperation between the two nations.

“Food and agriculture are closely related to climate change. Both countries are cooperating in dealing with global challenges in this regard. Despite the Corona 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 Government of India, for the livelihood restoration of communities affected by Cyclone Yasa,” added Tomar.

Fiji’s Minister Dr Reddy showed contentment over the MoU and averred that both countries will keep their mutual relations full of beans 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 Mechanisation, Horticulture Industry Development, Agricultural Research, Animal Husbandry, Pest and Disease, Cultivation, 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 shall be the Executing Agencies from their respective sides.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group will be set up to lay down procedures and strategy and suggest programs of cooperation towards accomplishing its goals. The Working Group will hold its meetings alternately in India and Fiji once in every two years.

The MoU will remain valid for a period of 5 years from the date of its signing and any modification to its duration will be given the nod in writing by both parties.

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