Partnership to help improve Fiji's agricultural exports

From SPC

Tue 29 Oct 2013

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SUVA, Fiji --- Export development efforts in Fiji’s agricultural sector will benefit from the recently formed partnership between the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project and the Market Development Facility (MDF).

The two partners recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enable them to seek opportunities for synergies, collaboration and cross-programme learning to maximise effective development outcomes.

The IACT project works towards strengthening the export capacity of the agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and livestock industries in Pacific ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries. The project, which is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, supports 44 enterprises across the Pacific. Eleven of them are located in Fiji.

MDF is a multi-country programme funded by Australian aid and managed by Cardno on its behalf. The programme works in key urban and rural sectors of the economy by partnering with relevant market actors contributing to increasing employment and incomes for low income earners. It currently operates in three countries – Fiji, Timor Leste and Pakistan.

Both IACT and MDF agree that the partnership will help businesses take advantage of export opportunities, promoting more inclusive growth.

“This partnership is crucial in strengthening our combined engagement for the enterprises we serve in Fiji. It will help fast-track key developments so that benefits are realised early,” said Samu Turagacati, Team Leader of the IACT project.

The partnership will facilitate regular exchange of expertise and valuable information about businesses between IACT and MDF. This, according to Turagacati, will avoid duplication of activities and help improve their productivity and efficiency.

“By working together, we ensure that we are focusing our efforts where required and complementing each other in creating a more pronounced impact,” said Shahroz Jalil, the country representative for MDF Fiji.

IACT and MDF will also contribute towards assisting enterprises to comply with trade standards such as HACCP, including through farmer group training for these businesses.

The partnership runs till December 2014.

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