Seychelles ranked last in meeting agricultural development goals


04-June-2013

This startling admission came as it emerged that Seychelles has been ranked last in agriculture out of nearly 40 sub-Saharan African nations assessed in a report by the ONE Campaign, an international advocacy non-governmental organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease.

“In the areas of horticulture and agriculture, there is still a lot of work to be done. We have hit rock bottom, and the only way to go is up, unless we decide to slide even lower than low.”

The minister was speaking at the Noah’s Garden horticultural fair competition organised by the Small Enterprise Promotion Agency (Senpa) in the Camion Hall courtyard last Friday.

“The realisation hits you quite hard, and the first reaction would be to contest it,” said Mr Sinon. “There are things there that they didn’t see, that they didn’t find. The people who compiled this report didn’t look at what we were doing last year and the year before in the sector. They didn’t write about the initiatives we are doing today, and all that we are doing and investing today to get out of the low position we are in today and ascend once more in the rankings,” said Minister Sinon.

The report, entitled the 2013 Data Report: Financing the Fight for Africa’s Transformation, is the first large-scale study to rank countries on their overall progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to assess the contribution from sub-Saharan African countries’ own spending. The report highlights a clear correlation between spending and progress.

According to the report, Seychelles has not reached the 10% mark for investment in agriculture to meet the MDGs by 2015. This means that US $230 million still needs to be invested in order to meet the targets set in Maputo in 2000.

The MDGs are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The goals are the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health, combating HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.

Only six sub-Saharan countries, namely Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Ethiopia, Senegal and Mali, have already met their total expenditure commitments for their agricultural sectors.

“For me there is no greater motivation, no greater encouragement than to have looked at those results. To do what is needed, there is no other way: we need to invest time, money, resources and technology,” said the minister.

“There is hope, here in Noah’s Garden, which is all about revival and renaissance. Next year will be the African year for agriculture and we are ready to move out of the position we are in.”


 

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