NPGA signing ceremony for Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forests

His Excellency Mr. INAGAKI Hisao, Ambassador-designate of Japan to Tonga and Lord Fohe, Tonga’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forests signed on the Exchange of Notes on Japan’s Non Project Grant Aid for the provision of agricultural processing, research and development equipment to the Ministry on Thursday, 11 January 2023 in Nuku’alofa.
Japan’s NPGA valued JPY 300 million, or over USD 2 million will provide equipment for processing crops, supporting domestic markets for food and nutrition security and increasing production for export. Amongst priority equipment listed and selected for this assistance includes washer machines, peeling and slicing, grinding and packaging machines, along with deshelling and desiccating machines for coconuts, as well as forklifts, trucks and vans.  
At the outset, expressing his sincere appreciation for the messages of sympathy and offers of assistance from all over the world, including Tonga, following the Noto Peninsula earthquake, His Excellency Mr. INAGAKI emphasized agriculture as the backbone of Tonga’s economy and the importance to assist Tonga in improving its agricultural capabilities. “This equipment will help your Ministry take good steps towards the modernization of crops to open up new domestic and hopefully international markets.”
“Japan has decided to support Tong’s efforts, especially as the Kingdom is still recovering from the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunami, which was followed by the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope that the warm and close friendship between Japan and the Kingdom of Tonga will continue to be strengthened by our cooperation,” said Ambassador INAGAKI.
Lord Fohe, conveyed his sincere gratitude for Japan’s support and generous assistance. Due to Tonga’s vulnerability to natural disaster, he appreciated Japan’s NPGA to develop his ministry’s capacity, to further enhance and preserve agriculture produce as a mean to prepare for natural disaster impacts. He also expressed his hope that this assistance will encourage increased consumption of healthy domestic food products, contributing to the reduction of non-communicable diseases.
The NPGA assistance from Japan have benefitted various Government Ministries of Tonga, with provision of multi-million worth of equipment, promoting economic and social development of Tonga.