Mr. Isaac Grace, Charge d’ Affaires, the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Indonesia arranged a virtual meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji and ICC Secretariat on 17 November 2020. Ms. Sera Bose, the Chief Economist represented from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji and Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director lead the ICC Secretariat team. The meeting aimed to enable deeper cooperation and collaboration in the coconut sector management of Fiji.
In the meeting, Mr. Issac proposed the sectorial needs and priorities for bilateral engagement, in which he presented the Ministries Strategic Priorities. The four priorities were: commercial agriculture development, food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture livelihoods and poverty alleviation, climate risk, resilience and sustainable land management. In each area Fiji expressed their interest and seek opportunities to collaborate with ICC and member countries.
Ms. Sera Bose, the Chief Economist of the Ministry of Agriculture presented the Agriculture scenario of Fiji including the functional divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture, key strategic priorities which had a direct link to NDP and SDG, food security and agriculture growth strategy, budget and target, the farming population in Fiji, agriculture GDP, agriculture production, agriculture and major commodities export. Fiji also faces challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, lack of technical expertise, farm technology, ICT and infrastructure. Amidst the challenges, the opportunities are still open wide for the export market, huge potential for value-added production, farmer population growth, and agro-tourism.
Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, presented the ICC vision and mission, projects and programs such as symposiums, trainings, seminars, technical assistance, and capacity buildings of ICC in which Fiji as a member country could participate and gain benefits. In implementing the projects and programs, ICC also collaborates with some international organizations and donor agencies. Dr. Jelfina also mentioned the CORD Journal website that has been indexed in Garuda, DOAJ, Google Scholar as a medium for information and technology dissemination.
There were in-depth discussions on potential collaborations. The meeting concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Jelfina.