Speaker of Seychelles’ parliament urges African countries to rethink food security strategies
Food security and production is a matter not only of high importance but of urgent importance said the Speaker of the Seychelles National Assembly, Roger Mancienne, in a recent conference for Speakers from Pan African Parliament.
Mancienne made the statement in his address at the 11th Conference of the Speakers of National and Regional Parliaments which took place from September 1-2 at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) headquarters, in Midrand, Johannesburg.
According to a press release from the National Assembly on Monday, Mancienne reiterated the need for countries “to rethink their strategies in terms of food production and urged countries with coastal borders to seriously consider the importance of the ocean as a source of food.”
He has further encouraged the adoption of the blue economy concept for possibilities to harness resources, commerce and other commodities in the African market, which he expressed as the solution to the next crisis.
The meeting was held in line with the African Union (AU) theme for 2022 “The Year of Nutrition.”
Participants discussed food security and nutrition in Africa and agreed that AU member states should honour the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security and increase their annual budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector by at least 10 percent.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, imports 90 percent of what it eats and last year started refining its plans on food security.
In a press interview last year, the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Flavien Joubert, said that “a lot more still needs to be done to ensure the country’s food security, especially as the pandemic has shown us the importance of producing our own food.”
Discussions at the meeting also focused on the adverse effects and challenges faced by the African continent, including the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic.
Participants agreed on the need for greater collaboration of nations to be better equipped to respond to any future global pandemic.
The meeting called for the improvement of healthcare systems and for the formulation of legislation that strengthens public healthcare delivery and enhances the capacity of healthcare workers.
The two-day meeting was closed by the PAP President, Chief Fortune Charumbira from Zimbabwe who expressed the organisation’s commitment to improved information sharing mechanisms with National and Regional Parliaments.