A three-day forum for the establishment of a Regional Livestock Policy Hub, an initiative of African Union Interafrican Bureau of Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the COMESA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, kicked off earlier this week at Voila Hotel, Bagatelle. Some 40 foreign delegates are attending the forum.
In his address, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, recalled that the Livestock Policy Hub concept has stemmed from the continental programme “Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa” (VET-GOV). As a multidisciplinary group, bringing together public and private stakeholders, the Livestock Policy Hub is a platform for ensuring broad stakeholder participation in the policy development process, he said.
According to the Minister, in Mauritius also, the Livestock Policy Hub has contributed by identifying the priority gaps, the quintessential areas of intervention, which need to be addressed for the livestock sector to develop. Many of the recommendations of the Livestock Policy Hub have been included in the Strategic Plan of the Ministry and they are being implemented, he added.
Like most African countries, Mauritius too, has yet to achieve its full potential in the livestock sector, underlined Mr. Seeruttun. “We do recognise, however, the important role of livestock production in poverty alleviation and providing meaningful livelihoods to a large number of our citizens, he stated.
My Ministry will provide all the required support to the Livestock Policy Hub to enable it to fulfill its role in the drafting of livestock policies that are meaningful for our farmers and for the country”, he added.
Mauritius has also benefited from financing under the VET-GOV programme for a pilot project, called “Evaluation of Basic Veterinary Care” which tackles a major area of intervention, recommended by the Livestock Policy Hub: the reform of the veterinary services. The pilot project was successfully completed and it provided clear directions for the reform of the veterinary services.