The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has committed to further support the Fijian Government’s efforts in advancing agriculture sector and food systems in Fiji. The strengthened areas of cooperation will include climate financing support, enhancing domestic food production, food and nutrition security, rural development and improving livelihoods.

This was conveyed at a courtesy call received by the Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Office of the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs, Mr Yogesh Karan from the FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific, Ms Xiangjun Yao.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, PS Karan congratulated Ms Yao and wished her well as she assumes her new role at FAO Sub-Regional Office, which supports Fiji and Pacific, through overseeing the implementation of programmes on the food security, agriculture and rural development.

He thanked FAO for its contribution towards Fiji’s Agriculture Sector Development Agenda, to establish a diversified, economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture economy, including the trade and marketing of domestic agriculture products.

The discussions touched on increasing partnership opportunities in these areas: (1) Sustainable management of Fisheries and Forests; (2) resilient crop and livestock production (3) Greener value chain development (4) Digital agriculture and innovation, (5) Support for an agri-food system transformation that provides healthy, affordable diets for all in a sustainable manner in a context where global crises coexist (climate change impacts, post-pandemic and increasing food and energy prices due to the war in Ukraine).

On the regional update, PS Karan said the “2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent” is key priority for the Pacific in building climate resilience and security; Fiji looks forward for FAO’s cooperation in the lead-up to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, and subsequently 2050.

In response, FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for Pacific, Ms. Xiangjun Yao reaffirmed FAO’s support to the Fijian Government through the mobilisation of technical and financial resources; assistance for development of innovation across the agri-food system, amongst other areas of cooperation.

She highlighted FAO’s support in building resilience in agriculture through technical support to the Ministry of Agriculture and in chairing the Fiji Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster and leading food security response to crises, training, promoting agro-forestry and crop diversification under Pro-Resilience project.

FAO initiatives also includes collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries to strengthen resilience of Fiji’s fisheries sector and designing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for disaster preparedness, response and recovery in line with National Disaster Management Office-NDMO policies.

FAO also works with the line ministries in providing technical support to ensure the needs of vulnerable groups such as women and youth in agriculture and fisheries are met.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations with the goal of achieving food security for all and to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

With 195 members – 194 countries and the European Union, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. The FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands was established in 1996 in Samoa to coordinate the work of FAO in the Pacific region.