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Food and Agriculture Organisation now in Fiji

  Minister of Agriculture Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seriratu was the chief guest at the opening of the Food and Agriculture Organisation office in Fiji
06 Apr 2016 13:11
Food and Agriculture Organisation now in Fiji
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Minister of Agriculture Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seriratu was the chief guest at the opening of the Food and Agriculture Organisation office in Fiji yesterday.

The opening is an outcome of an earlier agreement signed between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and FAO’s Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva to establish the office in the country.

Mr Seriratu said: “It has been 46 years since Fiji established relations with the FAO. It’s a relief that FAO is here to not only support us but also work with us.

“Fiji has a prominent role to play not only in the region but also contribute globally particularly in the areas of sustainable development, food security, water resource management and the livelihood of the people.”

He acknowledged the Australian Government, European Union, Food and Agriculture Organisation, partners and other programmes.

“These partners have assisted Fiji not only in terms of production but also in the chain development as well.

“We rely on FAO in regards to eradication of hunger, poverty, nutrition, food security and most importantly elimination of poverty by driving forward social and economic progress for all and the sustainable development of our resources.

“The policy document enabled Fiji to launch the Fiji 20-20 Agriculture sector policy agenda in 2013,” Mr Seriratu said.

 

Rice Development

“Fiji imports lots of rice and Ministry of Agriculture is hoping to reduce certain percentage on the rice import bill,” he said.

“Since we want to modernise Fiji Agriculture sector, we need to rely on good data and statistics and FAO assisted in getting the data required and it is still continuing.

“More than $20 million of agricultural damage has been done by Cyclone Winston and Post Disaster Natural Assessment (PDNA) is ongoing and that will be the guiding document for recovery and rehabilitation,” Mr Seriratu said.

 

Food and Agriculture Organisation

FAO’s sub regional coordinator of Pacific Islands, Gavin Wall said: “FAO is the only entity that can provide many of the needed public goods- this is the gathering and analysing of the data on global food system, contributing to international standards.

“These include providing for policy coordination, implementing international legal instruments, providing information exchange and advocating for change.

“We believe that FAO can contribute to the advancement of the food and agricultural sector in Fiji and also with its management of natural resources.

“However, we are looking forward to contribution from Fiji on the challenges it’s facing in the Pacific to the global food systems. FAO has been able to mobilise US$1.3 million to help recovery from Cyclone Winston.

“These funds will be used to help farmers and fishers establish food production, to help foresters’ wind-blow trees and to assist the bio security of Fiji to monitor animal diseases in the wake of the cyclone,” he said.

Assistant FAO Representative to Fiji, Joann Young and Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Jitendra Singh were also present at the ceremony.

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

 

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