Panafrican News Agency

Mauritius: Mauritius to support Africa’s initiative to strengthen livestock development

Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius (PANA) – Mauritian Agro-Industry and Food Security Minister Mahen Kumar Seeruttun on Monday said initiatives aiming at increasing food security, resilience to climate change and improving livelihood should be encouraged and supported.

Speaking at the opening of the 4th General Assembly on Animal Genetic Resources in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Steering Committee of the Sub Regional Focal Point on Animal Genetic Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources, Mr Seeruttun said it is important for Mauritius to support Africa’s initiative to strengthen and boost livestock development in the region since it is a net food importer relying heavily on exporting countries.

Mr Seeruttun underlined the importance of advocating for a sustainable use of animal genetic resources for the development of livestock production to meet future challenges of achieving food and nutrition security.

He highlighted that this project will ensure that Africa is not left behind in the global thrust to achieve sustainable utilisation and conservation of these very important genetic resources.

He also pointed out that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease last year revealed the vulnerability of the island’s livestock sector and has highlighted the weaknesses of its bio-security system.

The Minister underpinned the imperative need of formulating appropriate livestock policies, strategies and legislation to chart the way for the improvement of livestock development. He emphasised that the Mauritian government endeavours to safeguard local animal genetics and various initiatives are currently being spearheaded to this end.

Regarding policies and strategies to boost up the livestock sector, Mr Seeruttun stated that the conservation of local genetic resources has been included in government’s strategies as spelt out in the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 wherein emphasis is laid on conservation and utilisation of animal genetic resources.

The 4th General Assembly is being held in Mauritius from 9 to 12 October 2017. Its objectives are to formulate joint interventions for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of animal genetic resources in Southern Africa; discuss and agree on ways to fast-track the implementation of supported initiatives, especially those on trans-boundary breeds and to validate the report on the Regional Regulatory Framework for the Exchange, Use and Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa.
-0- PANA NA/AR 9Oct2017