FIJI AND CHINA SIGN MOU ON AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION

Agricultural cooperation between the Republic of Fiji and the People’s Republic of China will now be strengthened following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries.

The MoU on Strengthening Agricultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Fiji was recently signed by His Excellency Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han Changfu and Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy in Nadi.

Hon. Reddy shared Fiji and China’s successful history of cooperation in the agriculture sector and highlighted the MoU would enhance connection to the Chinese market.

“Fiji has now decided to let market demand drive production, but before that, we need to develop the infrastructure; support industries so that we can modernize agriculture and get the supply side ready to respond to demand signals,” said Minister Reddy.

“Here we need your support to assist us build this foundation for the production and supply side. While we are lagging behind in the introduction of machinery and infrastructure support, we are also challenged by forces of natural disasters and the outbreak of pests and diseases for both the crop and livestock sectors.

Hon. Reddy said these issues needed to be addressed before market signals were sent to derive production and supply.

The joint agreement is earmarked to strengthen agricultural cooperation between the two countries and enhance agricultural cooperation between Fiji and China on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

The MOU allows for enhanced exchanges in research information and agricultural policies and active promotion of the cooperation and exchanges between research institutes and personnel from both countries, encouraging exchange visits of sci-tech personnel and joint researchers.

Areas of bilateral cooperation in agricultural trade and investment cooperation and other agricultural cooperation between the two Governments will also be promoted as part of the MoU.