The United States of America has expressed an interest to invest in Fiji’s agriculture sector.
This follows a discussion by US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu, His Excellency Joseph Cella with Minister of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, the Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy at Raiwaqa yesterday.HE Cella was accompanied by USAID/Pacific Islands Senior Development Advisor, Dr. Alexandria Huerta.
Discussions centered around the work of USAID in the region of which the agriculture sector could possibly work in collaboration with the Ministry in areas such as small and medium enterprises, climate change and disaster rick reduction.
The Hon. Dr Reddy briefly highlighted the strategic priorities of the Ministry including the current drive towards expanding commercial agriculture in Fiji by forming cluster groups of farmers, as a way to address the impact of COVID-19 especially by those that lost their jobs in the tourism industry.
The Minister explained with this concept, households that were affected by COVID-19 would be able to regain an income, improve livelihoods, and create employment while growing crops for the export market.
The Hon. Minister also informed Ambassador Cella of the positive performance of agriculture commodities over the last two years.
The Hon. Dr Reddy also shared with His Excellency that the Ministry was ahead of time in implementing its five-year Strategic Plan which would end in 2023.The Ambassador was impressed with the home gardening initiative which was visible along the Suva-Nausori corridor.
HE Cella looked forward to building relations with the Minister especially in impact investing within the agriculture sector.The Minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mr Ritesh Dass and Acting Chief Economist, Ms Sera Bose.