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Minister Seruiratu Meets Top FAO Boss

Fijian Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu recently had a bilateral meeting with the Director-General of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of
23 May 2015 10:39
Minister Seruiratu Meets Top FAO Boss
Participants at the 11th FAO SWP Ministers for Agriculture meeting. Photo: DEPTFO News

Fijian Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu recently had a bilateral meeting with the Director-General of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Jose da Silva.

The meeting was held on the first day of the 11th FAO South West Pacific (SWP) Ministers for Agriculture meeting in Port Moresby, PNG.

Mr Seruiratu updated Director-General da Silva on the status of FAO interventions in Fiji under its various programmes and appreciated the technical support provided for the formulation of Fiji’s 2020 Agriculture Policy, which has set a framework for the modernisation of the agriculture sector in Fiji.  He acknowledged FAO for the technical assistance in supporting rural statistics for these statistical data is used for planning, analysis and measuring the effectiveness of policies.

“The ministry is taking it as its priority and requested FAO for its full support. FAO’s delivery of technical assistance has improved significantly when compared to the last couple of years,” Mr Seruiratu said.

The highlight of the bilateral meeting was the Country Host Agreement.

This was a proposal submitted to the Government in 2012 for the establishment of an FAO office in Fiji. Mr Seruiratu assured Director-General da Silva that the paperwork was almost complete and that Government would soon finalise its decision on the proposal.

The two leaders discussed important issues on the Country Programme Framework, which governs FAO activities in the region from 2013-2017.

The Fijian minister sought flexibility from Director-General da Silva in terms of approving, revising and changing of countries priorities due to changing dynamics in the region.

They discussed the importance of diversification, especially at the brink of the eroding preferential price of sugar in 2017.

The FAO Director-General advised of FAO’s initiatives to promote taro as a climate resistant crop in the region and globally.

Director-General da Silva told Mr Seruiratu of the upcoming FAO Conference in Rome in June for which, Minister Seruiratu confirmed his participation and to which he is looking forward to building networks and learning from others experiences and best practices. DEPTFO NEWS

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