MEDIA RELEASE: FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH UNITED NATIONS FAO HEAD

Steps taken by the Bainimarama-led government and the Fiji First Government to reform and develop Fiji’s food and agricultural sector has received international recognition and commendation from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

In Rome this morning, the Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama met with the FAO’s director general José da Silva at the margins of the 39th FAO Conference. Dedicated to achieving food security through driving forward economic and social progress for all, the FAO works closely with developing States such as Fiji to meet this goal.

During their talks, the Prime Minister highlighted the important role that the FAO has played in Fiji, in particular for ordinary Fijians.

“Over the last 20 years, Fiji has benefitted significantly from the assistance provided by FAO through its Technical Co-operation Programme, Trust Fund and Tele-food Projects”, the Prime Minister said. “FAO-funded projects over the years have contributed greatly to the sustainable development of Fiji’s economy–mainly in the agricultural sector.”

In his remarks, Prime Minister Bainimarama pointed out the reforms undertaken by his Government to modernise Fiji’s agricultural sector.
“Director General, I would also like to recognise and applaud the FAO’s assistance through the Pacific Islands Country Programme Framework, from which US$8.3 million was granted to Fiji. The Framework has helped facilitate about 20 local projects, mainly in the areas of agriculture, fisheries and forestry.”

“I would also like to note that my Government is launching its 2020 Agriculture Policy, a new initiative that allows for a 5 year development plan to help modernize the agricultural sector and make Fijian farmers more competitive and successful throughout the region – an initiative which would not be possible without the FAO’s assistance.”

The meeting was an opportunity for the Fijian Prime Minister to reaffirm the Fijian Government’s commitment to work closely with the FAO.

“We will further strengthen Fiji’s relationship with the FAO here in Rome with the signing of the Host Country Agreement. In doing so we look forward to hosting an FAO Representative in Suva that will benefit the people of Fiji and also allow the FAO to expand its presence across the region.“

The Prime Minister will later deliver Fiji’s national statement at this year’s FAO Conference.