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New Delhi: Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture, Waterways & Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors between India and Fiji in a virtual meeting held on Tuesday.
On this occasion, Shri Tomar said that India believes in the spirit of 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam'. India has helped all the countries in the same spirit even during the Corona pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Shri Tomar said that Prime Minister Shri Modi has focused on agriculture and the development of villages from the very beginning. In this direction, many concrete steps have been taken in the country like setting up of 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and creation of 10 thousand FPOs. During the Corona pandemic loans worth Rs. 2 lakh crore have been given to the farmers and as a result more production and earning has been achieved than before.
Shri 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 signing of this MoU today will prove to be a milestone in further strengthening the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
Shri Tomar said, "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 the Government of India, for the livelihood restoration of communities affected by Cyclone Yasa."
Fiji's Minister Dr. Reddy expressed happiness over the MoU and said 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.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of Fiji shall 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 programs of cooperation towards achieving its aims. The Working Group will hold its meetings alternatively in India and Fiji once in 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.