A two-day validation workshop on the Mauritius Action Plan for the African Union Malabo Commitments at the initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (Mauritius Node) hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, opened yesterday at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA) in Réduit.
Some 50 participants are attending the workshop to deliberate and come up with recommendations and an Action Plan to meet the objectives of helping Mauritius attain a significant transition into sustainable agricultural development; and to be fully prepared to meet the challenges of food security and safety, with an agriculture well equipped to cope with the additional risks that climate change represents.
The deliberations and recommendations as defined in the Action Plan will eventually be presented and validated at the Africa Green Revolution Forum, which will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 3-7 September 2018. The theme for the Forum is "Lead, Measure, Grow: Enabling new pathways to turn smallholders into future agribusinesses". The platform seeks to assist member states of the African Union to improve their performance for the up-coming 2019 Biennial Review of agricultural progress made against the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth.
In his address, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, highlighted the need for Mauritius to come up with the Action Plan which he added will help the country identify not only its best practices in the agricultural sphere but also the areas where improvements are needed to achieve the aims and targets of the Malabo Declaration.
He recalled that the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods was signed and adopted by the African Union in 2014 under which seven commitments have been defined which marked a turning point in the way African states conduct agriculture.
He further pointed out that regarding one of the commitment which is 'Mutual Accountability to Results and Action', characterised by a biennial review of agricultural progress heralded a process of measuring and reporting on respective countries' progress. The result of the initial 'mutual accountability to results and action' process was the launch of the inaugural Biennial Review Report in Ethiopia, in January 2018 whereby he added Mauritius obtained a score of 5 out of 10 against the 3.94 benchmark score for 2017, indicating that the country is on track with regard to the Malabo commitments.
Minister Seeruttun also spoke of Mauritius' performance within the SADC region and that the country has set a firm foundation for continuous improvement, as well as a source of best practices in the region. This, he added is the outcome of a series of measures adopted by his Ministry to improve the level of food security and food safety and promote more sustainable agriculture among which the implementation of the Mauritius' Strategic Plan (2016-2020) for the Food Crop, Livestock and Forestry Sectors and other such initiatives being given to farmers, especially women, young graduates and others, to encourage them to engage in agri-business activities.