NATION

EU Boosts Agriculture Sector With $50m

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and EU Ambassador to the Pacific Sujiro Seam penned the deal.
05 Jun 2020 13:26
EU Boosts Agriculture Sector With $50m
EU Ambassador for the Delegation of the European Union of the Pacific, Sujiro Seam (left) and Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum during financing agreement signing on June 4, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji will receive $50 million over the next three years as budget support from the European Union is aimed at improving agriculture.

For this year, $20 million will be given to the Government.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and EU Ambassador to the Pacific Sujiro Seam penned the deal.

Ambassador Seam said the economic impact of COVID-19 had affected the tourism sector with many employees in the industry forced to turn to the land to literally put food on the table.

He said the money was focused on rural livelihood support which was through agriculture.

He commended the work by the Government so far.

“It shows the strength of the partnership between the EU and the Government of Fiji, second it focuses on the critical sector in the context of COVID-19, and it translates the commitment of Team Europe to the Pacific,” he said.

“We trust the capacity of the Government of Fiji to face the health consequences of the current coronavirus.

“The steps taken so far which have proven successful in containing this outbreak here in Fiji. We also trust the capacity of the Government of Fiji to overcome the socio-economic impact.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the assistance from the EU was an indication and an affirmation of the confidence they had in the economy.

He said under the guidance of Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy, there had been significant improvements in the sector.

He said sustainable rural livelihood programmes would be administered through the Ministry of Agriculture.

“One of the areas we are focusing on is the value adding in the agricultural sector so that we are able to produce more refined products,” he said.

“Currently Fiji Airways is flying freight out of the country and 70 per cent of exports are agriculture.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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