Concrete acts of renewed cooperation between FAO and Mauritius mark FAO Director-General’s visit to the island
On the occasion of the Director-General’s visit to Mauritius (31 August-1 September 2016), FAO and Mauritius signed Financing Agreements of two FAO Technical Cooperation Projects: for strengthening the national food safety and plant health protection systems; and for supporting the forest code revision and institutional reform in Mauritius.
Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Mauritius Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security and Patrice Talla, FAO Representative in Madagascar/Comoros/Mauritius/Seychelles, signed the new commitments in the presence of FAO Director-General, José Graziano Da Silva, and the staff of the Ministry.
Both projects will be implemented over a period of two years and are expected to be completed by July 2018. “These two projects are of prime importance for the country and are in line with the vision of Government to enhance food security and food safety,” declared Minister Mahen Kumar.
FAO will provide assistance in the improvement of mechanisms to monitor plant pests and diseases and incidences of contamination of food for the assessment of associated risks and delivery of integrated and timely early warning.
FAO will also partner with the Ministry in the design the legal and institutional reform of the forestry sector through an evaluation of the existing legal framework in relation to regulations governing land use especially as regards privately owned forest lands and formulation of concrete proposals to open opportunities for economic and sustainable development of our limited forest cover.
Early alert for informed decisions
The two parties exchanged views on the impact of climatic change on the agricultural sector in Small Island Developing States. The Minister deplored the lack of early warning systems to alert decision makers and farmers about emerging threats and “this compromises food production and food safety”.
Minister Mahen Kumar Seeruttun seized the opportunity to request further assistance in urgently helping the country to control and eradicate the Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Mauritius and the island of Rodrigues, recently detected in July and August 2016.