March 31, 2022

The Government of Japan provided US$188,780 to the Ministry of Agriculture for the purchase of heavy machinery (an excavator and 2 tip trucks) under Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Programme.

His Excellency Mr Kawakami Fumihiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Fiji handed over the heavy machinery to the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy on Tuesday 29 March 2022 at the Lakena Agriculture Station in Nausori.

The GGP Programme is part of the overall Japanese ODA implemented by the Embassy of Japan to empower the people at the Grassroots level.

While handing over the assistance, H.E Mr Fumihiro said the machines would be an essential tool to boost the economic growth of the Northern Division through the development of the agriculture sector.

"It gives me great joy to see that the handing over of the agricultural heavy machinery today, is the tangible realization of Japan’s actions under the Japan-Pacific Bond Policy KIZUNA Policy, announced by the then Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Suga Yoshihide, at the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9), held in July 2021.

"The Japanese phrase "KIZUNA" carries almost the same meaning as "Veitokani" in iTaukei, which describes close bonds and connections between people," said H.E Fumihiro.

Minister for Agriculture Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy acknowledged the partnership between the Government of Japan and the Fijian Government, citing the contract signed on 19th March 2021 between the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Fiji and the Ministry of Agriculture which indicated the provision of 1 new Excavator and 2 Tip Trucks worth USD 188,780.00.

“These trucks will ensure the development of farm roads and farmer access to markets in the Northern Division.

“The Government of Fiji is assisting farmers on critical commercial and export crop agriculture while at the same time expanding livestock products to reduce our reliance on imports and as you might be aware, the new mini-Budget focus is on supporting farm mechanization and Commercial Agricultural Development Programs through procurement of agricultural machinery.

“Hence, this assistance couldn’t have been received at a better time when the Government’s strategic priorities are on the expansion of agricultural services through increased mechanization. We aim to share these resources and eliminate inequalities which in the end will assist with achieving zero hunger and having a competitive, sustainable and resilient agriculture sector,” said Hon. Reddy.

The project is also aligned to Fiji's 20 Year and 5 Year Development Plans, particularly with its respective targets and goals, namely, "Food and Nutrition Security" as well as "Competitive, Sustainable and Value-adding Agriculture."