The Japanese Ambassador to Fiji, His Excellency Omura Masahiro handed over new aquaculture materials and heavy machinery worth FJ$370,422 (US$184,509) to Fiji’s Naduruloulou Research Station in Naitasiri yesterday.

This brings to fruition a deal they signed last year aimed to boost Tilapia in Fiji. Ambassador Omura said materials and equipment will assist Fiji in its food security challenges brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic.

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of food security and sustaining livelihoods has been increasing and regarded as an urgent matter in Fiji. One solution to this challenge is developing freshwater aquaculture in communities.”

“It gives me great happiness to say that the newly provided equipment will increase the annual Tilapia seed production forecasting for the station.” Ambassador Omura says.

Minister for Fisheries Hon. Semi Koroilavesau thanked the Government of Japan while receiving the equipment which was funded under the Grants Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Program (GGP).“Fiji’s fisheries continue to grow through the technical financial support through the past years through JICA, OSCF, and its sister program of grass root.

Minister Koroilavesau is optimistic that the generous assistance by the Japanese government will boost Tilapia production in Fiji by an annual production of $1.2m to $2.2m.“And maximum direct assistance to the ordinary freshwater farmers in Fiji,” he said.

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