Panafrican News Agency

Madagascar: Indian Ocean food security sponsors conference opens in Madagascar

Ebène, Mauritius (PANA) – Malagasy President Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Thursday opened a two-day Indian Ocean Food Security Sponsors Conference in Antananarivo suggesting a “win-win partnership” centered on increased production as the answer to the nutritional challenge facing island nations in the region.

According to sources close to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) in Mauritius,at least 150 participants are attending the regional meeting organized by the IOC in partnership with the government of Madagascar.

The sources said that the meeting is centred on meeting concrete objectives.

In a communiqué issued here, the IOC said "this huge mobilization of participants illustrates the interest aroused by the restart of agricultural and fish production projects, as well as their marketing and training."

Recalling the declaration of the Fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the IOC, held in August 2014, Rajaonarimampianina said that the economic revival of Madagascar depends on food security in the Indian Ocean region.

Remaining passive would be dramatic for the human capital of the country, he warned.

"We did not want to launch another appeal for international generosity. We propose a contract with our sponsors,” IOC Secretary General Jean-Claude de l’Estrac said.

The second day of the meeting will be dedicated to examination of ten concrete projects intended to meet the challenges of giving the agricultural and fish production sectors of Madagascar the necessary push in order to end food and nutritional insecurity, and to create conditions for food self-reliance by restoring Madagascar's reputation as a “granary of the Indian Ocean.”

De l’Estrac said that an “agreement for a regional food security programme of the IOC to be funded to the tune of 18 million euros under the 11th European Development Fund will be signed on 4 June 2015 in Brussels.”
-0- PANA NA/AR 19Feb2015