China’s Hunan province acknowledges Fiji’s agricultural development

Dr Mahendra Reddy at the inaugural China-Pacific Island Countries Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Nadi. Picture: FT FILE/SUPPLIED

THE Hunan Province in China has been acknowledged for its contributions to Fiji’s agricultural development.

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy expressed the Fijian Government’s appreciation during a bilateral meeting with the vice governor of Hunan Province, Sui Zhongcheng, on the margins of the recent International Horticulture Exhibition held in Beijing, China.

Dr Reddy and Mr Zhongcheng also discussed avenues to deepen friendship and close cooperation with Hunan in agricultural machinery, rice breeding, and planting.

According to a Government statement, the discussions also centered on areas of mutual cooperation and interest to further strengthen partnership on agricultural development such as mechanisation of the local agriculture sector, particularly for the revitalisation of the rice sector, as Fiji continued to import $40m worth of rice annually for domestic consumption.

With the People’s Republic of China being self-sufficient in rice production, Dr Reddy highlighted that through continued cooperation with Hunan Province in terms of technical expertise, technology, and research, this could potentially contribute to improvement in local rice production and cultivation in Fiji.

Mr Zhongcheng acknowledged China and Fiji’s diplomatic ties and long-standing relations and affirmed Hunan’s intention to continuously provide support for an enabling environment for agricultural development cooperation as Hunan Province had implemented South-South agricultural cooperation and national foreign aid projects in Fiji.

A delegation from the Hunan enterprise, Yuan Long Ping High-Tech Agriculture Company Limited, will visit Fiji soon to provide further support to current rice development programs.

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