The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday received two vehicles and two tractors worth over $200,000 from the Government of India.
Minister for Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu acknowledged the Government of Indias support and thanked Indias High Commissioner to Fiji, HE Vishvas Sapkal.
Minister Seruiratu said the bilateral development cooperation that has been in existence since 2006 has been further extended for another three years and covers specific areas such as Coconut Development, Animal Health, Root Crop Research, Horticulture and Integrated Water Resource Management to name a few.
We are very pleased with this cooperation to further develop a strong partnership between the two countries through your technical assistance program, Minister Seruiratu said.
The intent at the ministry is to utilize Indian technology to modernize agriculture in Fiji, and consequently, to improve productivity at all levels.
Over the years, we have witnessed direct assistance by the Government of India in the areas of technical support and small farm machineries.
In addition, the minister said transportation and mechanization of farms is crucial to the daily activities of the Ministry and we need to be accessible to our stakeholders especially the farmers and be able to maintain and meet the demands of our service.
The two vehicles will be used solely for the Sheep Breeding Programme under Animal Health Production Division and the Fiji Agriculture Statistics Unit that is undertaking the statistical survey in order to establish the ministrys much-needed agriculture statistics.
The Ministry of Agriculture is committed to mechanizing our crop extension services and the India technical assistance is very timely in supporting the drive of modernizing the Agriculture Sector in Fiji, Minister Seruiratu said.
It has come at a very crucial time to the Ministry in light of our immediate need for mobility in our locality stations to conduct survey and collect data, for the sheep breeding program that is currently underway now for the next three months and to enhance our effort in assisting our farmers with land preparation and farm mechanization.