Caption:Indian Minister for Rural Development Hon. Birendra Singh receives gifts.Photo:SUPPLIED.
The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Hon Inia Seruiratu and the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya met this week with the Indian Minister for Rural Development, Hon Birender Singh and Indian Minister for Agriculture, Hon Radha Mohan Singh in Delhi.
Accompanying the Ministers was the Fijian High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan and the Ministry of Agriculture Acting permanent secretary, Mr Uraia Waibuta.
Minister Seruiratu stated that the meeting was to progress talks on a number of key bilateral issues that were discussed during the recent successful visit to Fiji by the Prime Minister of India, Hon. Narendra Modi.
“The idea of meeting senior Central Indian Government Ministers is to ensure that the commitments made during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Fiji and his discussions with our Prime Minister Hon. JV Bainimarama are materialised,” Minister Seruiratu said.
Technical assistance and cooperation and private sector participation in the areas of agriculture and rural development between the two countries were key issues discussed.
“The development of Rural Statistics and GIS (Geographical Information System) are two vital areas of concern to Fiji and I have kindly requested the Government of India to assist in facilitating the need to improve these technical areas of expertise.”
“Market linkages between producers and households is a significant area Fiji needs to consider. India’s model of cooperative and market connectivity is vital to advance Fiji’s service delivery in the agricultural sector,” Minister Seruiratu said.
He said that they also discussed technical assistance and training to improve farming techniques, research for the development of new commodities and a mentoring programme for developing new business models in the agriculture sector.
A number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) is under consideration to further strengthen ties between the two countries.
In addition, the Indian Technical Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program is anticipated to further provide impetus and synergies that will enhance capacity building for Fijian government officials.