A consignment of 14 varieties of fruit and vegetable seeds has been delivered as a grant to Fiji

Underlining India’s commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to partners in the Indo-Pacific, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the first tranche of a consignment of 7 tons of agricultural seeds from India reached Nadi, Fiji on Tuesday.

As a gesture of friendship and solidarity, this consignment with14 varieties of fruit and vegetable seeds requested by the Government of Fiji has been delivered as a grant, for restoration of livelihood of communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasa, said a statement of the High Commission of India in Suva, Fiji.

In order to ensure timely delivery in optimum condition, the consignment was airlifted from India and was transported via Sydney, Australia, facilitated by the Government of Fiji and Australia, it added.

India enjoys a warm and friendly relationship with Fiji based on mutual respect, cooperation and strong people-to-people ties, the statement noted.

In January 2021, India provided disaster relief assistance to Fiji in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Yasa, it informed.

Earlier, India made a donation of agricultural seeds to Fiji to support the communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, the statement recalled.

Moreover, the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors. The Union Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 3 March had approved the MoU.

The MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of India and Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Fiji for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the areas such as exchange of research personnel, scientific experts, specialists and technical trainees, enhancement and transfer of technology, development of agriculture development, development of human resources through training officers and farmers by conducting seminars and workshops.

It also calls for the promotion of joint ventures between private sectors of both countries, promotion of investment in marketing and value addition/downstream processing of agricultural commodities and to promote capacity development in all areas of agriculture and promote trade of agricultural products through market access.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be constituted to set down procedures and plan and recommend programs of cooperation towards achieving its aims through the Executing agencies of the two countries. The JWG will hold its meeting alternately in India and Fiji once in every two year.

This MoU will come into effect on the date of its signing and will remain in force for a period of five years.