Joint meeting of SADC ministers responsible for agriculture and food security, and fisheries and aquaculture

Joint meeting of SADC ministers responsible for agriculture and food security, and fisheries and aquaculture, 5th to 7th may 2021,
Maputo, Mozambique (Video-Conferencing)

The joint meeting of the SADC ministers responsible for agriculture and food security, fisheries and aquaculture was held on 7th May 2021, in Maputo Mozambique, through video-conferencing. The meeting was preceded by the principal secretaries and senior officials responsible for Agriculture and Food Security, Fisheries and Aquaculture on 5th -6th May 2021 for the preparation of the annotated agenda which was approved by the ministers. The joint meeting was attended by 114 delegates from the fourteen member states namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Seychelles delegation consisted of Minister Flavien Joubert, the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Mr. Keven Nancy and Mr. Antoine Moustache from the Department of Agriculture and Mr. Aubrey Lesperance from the Seychelles Fishing Authorities.

On Friday 7th May 2021, the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo delivered a statement on behalf of Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax. Dr Mhlongo welcoming all the Ministers present and wished them fruitful deliberations. He pointed out that despite the prospects of improved food and nutrition security for the just commenced marketing year which was mainly brought about by good rainfall experienced in the region. Overall, the region is still experiencing negative effects of climate change manifested through recurrent torrential rains, floods, cyclones and drought experienced during the past few seasons and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main objective of the meeting is to follow-up on the decisions of the summit and council, specifically to review the food security situation following challenges experienced by the region with regards to drought in some parts and excessive rains in others; outbreaks of transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases; and developments in the fisheries sectors.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of the Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) and its related programmes including food security, livestock, crops and fisheries as well as the SADC Plant Genetics Resources Centre (SPGRC), and the Centre for Coordination of Agriculture Research on Southern Africa (CCARDESA). The meeting deliberated on the mentioned sectors contribution in the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture.

In his statement on the subject of Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Mr. Flavien Joubert informed the meeting that Seychelles currently has a locally funded ADF and is looking at ways to increase the local financing subsequent to that Seychelles will review its participation in the proposed regional fund.