India and Fiji on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors between the two countries.

The MoU will remain valid for a period of five years from the date of its signing and any variation to its duration will have to be approved in writing by both parties.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture Mahendra Reddy signed the MoU in a virtual meeting.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of dairy industry development, rice industry development, root crop diversification, water resources management, coconut industry development, food processing industry development, agriculture mechanisation, horticulture industry development, agricultural research, animal husbandry, pest and disease, cultivation, value addition and marketing, post-harvest and milling, and breeding and agronomy.

The agriculture ministries of the two countries shall be the executing agencies from their respective sides.

Under the MoU, a joint working group will be established to set down procedures and plan and recommend programmes of cooperation towards achieving its aims. The working group will hold its meetings alternatively in India and Fiji once in every two years.

Tomar said that signing of this MoU will prove to be a milestone in further strengthening the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

Noting that food and agriculture are closely related to climate change, Tomar said both countries are cooperating in dealing with global challenges in this regard.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to distribute about 7 tonnes of seeds of 14 varieties of fruits and vegetables as requested by Fiji, as a grant from the Government of India, for the livelihood restoration of communities affected by Cyclone Yasa,” he said.

Fiji’s Minister Reddy expressed happiness over the MoU and said that both the countries will keep their mutual relations dynamic in the same spirit.

–IANS

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