‘Need for new economic order to help fight hunger’


Minister Meriton at the meeting

Minister Meriton was speaking at a high level meeting of African and international leaders on ‘Renewed Partnership to eradicate hunger in Africa’.
He was representing President James Michel at this meeting which was held from June 30 to July 1, 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meeting was jointly organised by the African Union (AU), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Lula Institute of Brazil and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).

Its prime objective of the meeting was to renew partnership towards a unified approach to end hunger in Africa by 2025.

During his interventions, Minister Meriton seized the opportunity to share Seychelles’ experience towards achieving an appreciable degree of food and nutrition security, highlighting in the process that Seychelles was the first AU state of the Indian Ocean to sign the CAADP Compact Document.

The minister said the country had recently launched a new food and nutrition policy and that “Seychelles is poised to develop its national agricultural investment plan (SNAIP) to provide the much needed investment to induce renaissance in the national agricultural sector”.

The minister further highlighted Seychelles’ efforts in sustainable exploitation of marine resources.

“We cannot talk about eliminating hunger if we do not include the vast marine resources of the continent.”

He pointed out that Seychelles is committed to continue to exploit food production in areas of comparative advantages and that our Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.3 million square kilometers of Ocean will continue to sustain our blue economy, namely industrial tuna fishing, a major contributor to our GDP.

“We are committed to be efficient in managing our artisanal fisheries which provide some 40% of the national protein intake,” the minister said.

He went on to express Seychelles’ commitments to the CAADP initiative in the revival of the national agricultural sector and commended the efforts of the AU, Nepad and Comesa (Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa) to this end.

Minister Meriton also elaborated on the parallel efforts being undertaken to increase investment in the national agricultural sector by stating that “the Seychelles government recently signed a 3 million dollar loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) and an upcoming 1 million dollar MIC grant from the AfDB for an in-depth study of the food production sector”.

He alluded to the fact that efforts towards national food and nutrition security continued to be inculcated into every Seychellois citizen through the national campaign ‘Every Home a Garden’. 

He also stressed the government’s commitments in social support through the provision of “legal and administrative frameworks to support a free basic health service and education as well as appropriate safeguards for vulnerable groups, which remain the cornerstone of our people’s centered social policy”.

Minister Meriton concluded by noting that the source of misery, hunger and malnutrition is rooted in greed, spurring a blind race for profit for the benefit of only a few.

He pledged Seychelles’ support to this initiative and reminded those present to an African Renaissance with renewed partnership for a more unified approach to end hunger in Africa by 2025.

During the meeting, distinguished guests, including the former President of Brazil, Lula da Silva, addressed the dignitaries, highlighting the key achievements in their respective countries in food and nutrition security as well as guarding against upcoming challenges.

Minister Meriton was accompanied by Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, Seychelles’ resident permanent representative to the AU; Antoine-Marie Moustache, special advisor in the Ministry of Natural Resources and FAO National Correspondent; and Patsy Moustache, second secretary and African Union Desk Officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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