The Country Programming Framework (CPF) for the Republic of Mauritius for the coming four years which renews the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to Mauritius in agri-business development and agro value chain, promotion of sustainable agriculture for food security, and sustainable fisheries was signed yesterday afternoon at the Restaurant Le Courtyard in Port Louis.
The signatories were the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, and the FAO Representative for Mauritius, Mr Patrice Talla Takoukam, in presence of the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, the United Nations Development Programme Resident Coordinator, Mrs Christine Umutoni, and the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rodrigues Regional Assembly, Mr Richard Payendee.
The Framework sets out priorities for collaboration in the fields of agri-business development with focus on the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in addition to making agriculture, forestry and fisheries more sustainable. It also addresses the approach to reducing rural poverty and sets the scene towards enabling inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems while increasing the resilience of livelihoods to disasters.
In his address, Minister Seeruttun expressed satisfaction regarding the signing of the CPF which he said bears testimony to the longstanding partnership between the Agro-Industry Ministry and the FAO. The organisation has always provided support in terms of expertise, capacity building, advice and financial assistance to Mauritius, he added. Moreover, he recalled the efforts put in by his Ministry to promote a sustainable agriculture while encouraging the youth to join the sector and providing assistance to farmers to cope with climate change, pests and diseases.
The set objectives under the CPF will also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and they can be achieved with the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now for the future, stated Mr Seeruttun.
The Agro-Industry Minister further announced that besides the CPF, a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) for Rodrigues will be signed shortly for strengthening rural development planning in Rodrigues through land suitability maps and natural resource information systems. The TCP, he pointed out, is in line with the policy of Government not to leave out Rodrigues but empower it to be the driver and trend-setter in agricultural innovations.
For his part, the FAO Representative, Mr Takoukam, reiterated the FAO's firm commitment to provide assistance geared towards ensuring food security in Mauritius. He also stressed that the Government of Mauritius should be in the driving seat regarding the implementation of the priority areas listed out in the CPF and that FAO will continue to provide both technical and financial assistance as well as expertise to Mauritius.
Furthermore, three TCP facilities are in the pipeline and will deal with addressing the priority objectives for namely: reviewing the institutional framework of the fisheries sector; development of a national animal identification and recording system in Mauritius; and support for the national legislation and implementing regulations of organic farming in Mauritius.