Hon. Inia Batikoto SERUIRATU
The Honorable Minister Mr Inia Batikoto SERUIRATU, Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management was sworn into Government under his current portfolio in September, 2014. He has, however held Ministerial Appointments also as the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests and Provincial Development & National Disaster Management dating back to November, 2012. He was also appointed as the Commissioner Northern Division from Dec 2007-2011. The Minister has held several Chairmanships and member of Board of Directors with Fiji Hardwood Corporation (2007/2010), Agro Marketing Authority (2010), Rewa Rice Limited (2011), Land Transport Authority (2011) and iTaukei Affairs Board (2014).
He has also held the following affiliations as Chairman and Member Technical Committee Centre of Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in 2012, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Goodwill Ambassador for International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2015, Chairman UNESCAP Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA) in 2015, Chairman of the Governing Council, Centre of Intergrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) in 2015, Chairman UNESCAP Disaster Risk Reduction Council and Bureau in 2015.
During the Hon. Minister’s tenure as the Min. for Agriculture since 2013, there have been major achievements attained such as Fiji being presented with Achievement Awards for the Food & Agriculture (FAO) Recognition for achieving MDG Targets, Fiji became a member of INFOFISH International in June 2014, The 2020 Fiji Agriculture Policy Agenda was launched in August 2014, The Ministry of Agriculture conducted the first Crops Forum in November, 2015 and the Hon. Minister also led negotiations with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) culminating with the signing of the Financing Agreement between Fiji and IFAD.
Prior to joining Government, the Hon. Minister has also been a career Military Officer since 1987 when he joined the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and became a Commissioned Officer rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has also held several senior military appointments during his term in the RFMF his last posting being the Chief of Staff Strategic Plans HQ RFMF and Commanding Officer Force Training Group.
The Hon. Minister has served also in various peacekeeping missions abroad on several occasions in the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO Sinai) for a year, United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for two years, United Nations Iraq/Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) for a year and Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) for six months. He has also been awarded the MFO Peacekeeping Medal, UNIFIL Peacekeeping Medal, UNIKOM Peacekeeping Medal, Republic of Fiji Medal, Fiji General Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Decoration.
The Hon. Minister Inia Batikoto SERUIRATU is married to COL Litea Vulakoro SERUIRATU and they have three children.