Mauritius has become the 15th member country in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to sign its national Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact.
“CAADP responds to the aspirations of Africa by placing agriculture as the engine of social and economic growth,” said Mr. Mahen Kumar Seerutun, Mauritian Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security.
Speaking on behalf of the NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission, Dr. Janet Edeme, Head of Rural Economy and Agriculture Division, expressed gratitude to Mauritius for building consensus among partners on necessary solutions to meet the challenges in agricultural development. Dr. Edeme also remarked that it is important that Africa commit its own resources towards the continent’s development.
The signing of a CAADP Compact symbolises a commitment to investment in consensually agreed key priority areas, and an overall vision for agricultural transformation. According to CAADP principles, these agricultural priorities are arrived at through an inclusive national roundtable process. The priorities are by nature, results-based and reflect the views of all stakeholders in the country’s agriculture sector.
The signing ceremony of the CAADP Compact was led by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mahen Kumar Seerutun, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Etienne Sinatambou and COMESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Programmes, Dr. Kipyego Cheluget.
“Africa boasts huge resources and economic potential, and therefore the role of both public and private sector in agriculture cannot be overemphasized,” Dr. Cheluget said. He added, “The Mauritius CAADP Compact will give impetus to other countries that have not already done so to sign their compacts and implement their National Agriculture Investment plan.“
The national CAADP Compact was also signed by representatives of the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency, Small Farmers Welfare Fund, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Ministry of Ocean Economy, the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Etienne Sinatambou stressed that the CAADP process is in line with the Mauritian development priorities, with particular emphasis on biotechnology.
Although continental in scope, the CAADP agenda is an integral part of national efforts to promote agricultural sector growth and economic transformation. In the case of Mauritius, the focus of the CAADP process is to strengthen and add value to the strategy for agricultural transformation under the ongoing Economic Development Strategy of the country as outlined in the Government Programme (2015-19).
The ultimate goal of the CAADP process in Mauritius is to answer that call for the agricultural sector, by:
(i) Helping define a coherent long term framework to guide the planning and implementation of agricultural programmes; and
(ii) Identifying strategic options and sources of economic empowerment and inclusive growth for the agricultural sector, and
The CAADP Compact in Mauritius sets the parameters for long-term partnership in the agricultural sector. It also specifies key commitments on the part of government and development partners. Furthermore, the Compact clarifies expectations with respect to the agribusiness and farming communities in order to ensure successful implementation of the Government Programme 2015-2019.
Therefore the goals of CAADP are very much in harmony with Mauritius’ goals of creating a modern and sustainable agricultural sector that will contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.