Director-General  QU Dongyu

Read-out of the FAO Director-General’s meeting with H.E. Mahendra Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment of the Republic of Fiji

27/09/2022

Bali - The Director General QU Dongyu met today with H.E. Mahendra Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment of the Republic of Fiji on the sidelines of the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting (AMM).

The Director-General and the Minister discussed that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are facing multiple challenges in achieving food security in the context of the climate crisis. At the same time, the Director-General noted that SIDS play a critical role as hosts of a vital global public good: biodiversity. 

The Minister expressed deep appreciation to the Director-General for his leadership in anchoring FAO’s support to SIDS and noted that Fiji counted on this strong support to continue in the future.

The Director-General thanked the Minister for Fiji’s support to the work of FAO, and highlighted some of the key reforms he has emplaced in the Organization since 2019 to ensure FAO is fully equipped to deliver support to all its Members. The Director-General cited FAO’s new Office of SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs, being as one of the Organization’s systematic and structural commitments in finding solutions to the specific challenges they face. 

The Minister informed the Director-General that agriculture in Fiji is being severely affected by the climate crisis, as rising sea levels are adversely affecting soil salinity and crop performance.  In this respect he requested capacity-building guidance from FAO in order for Fiji to adapt to the food security challenges, promote healthy diets and diversify its agriculture sectors.

The Director-General noted that FAO would look into various options to provide Fiji with additional support, especially through the possibility of mobilizing resources from International Financial Institutions (IMFs), such as: Global Environment Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and World Back Group (WBG), to transform Fiji’s agrifood systems to overcome these daunting challenges.

The Director-General went on to provide a brief on progress in FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative, which prioritizes support to countries and territories where poverty are highest, national capacities are limited, or operational difficulties are greatest due to natural or man-made crises.  

Finally, the Director-General and the Minister possible ways to enhance Fiji’s capacities to produce more local cash crops and modernize the level of the agricultural machinery through FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative. 

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