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Agreement pushes for food security and nutrition in the Indian Ocean Region

FAO and Indian Ocean Commission launch strategic partnership

Mr Madi Hamada, Secretary General IOC and Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO. Signing Ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the Indian Ocean Commission, (IOC). ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti.

5 November 2018, Rome—The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Indian Ocean Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support a crucial food security and nutrition initiative in the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Ocean Regional Programme on Food Security and Nutrition (PRESAN) provides a framework for strategic collaboration and implementation of joint activities. These include outreach and communications, information sharing, resources mobilization and technical support to improve food and nutrition security.

The IOC Secretary General, Mr Madi Hamada, and the IOC Director Mr François Vuillemin recently met with Senior Managers of FAO in Rome to further boost cooperation between the two organizations.

Alignment of food security and nutrition efforts in the region

PRESAN looks into improving the food security and nutrition of populations among IOC Member States—Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion (overseas region of France) and Seychelles.

 Within this framework, facilities of a technical, regulatory and/or financial nature will be set up to support the private sector, as well as to develop the priority value chains of regional interest. These facilities require resources and the contribution of all stakeholders, donors, particularly those involved in IOC’ Member States need to be mobilized.

 Mr. Madi Hamada of IOC recalled that the during the Donors’ Conference on Food Security held in Madagascar in February 2015, existing donors’ allocations to food security in the region are not efficiently coordinated. He stressed the need to discourage the duplication of efforts.

“FAO provides us with the technical support needed to respond to the urgent needs of the region, in particular the reduction of the deficit of its agricultural trade balance; as well as the specific needs of Madagascar which has a natural vocation to become the Breadbasket of the Indian Ocean,”Mr. Hamada added.

The MoU enables FAO to support IOC for joint resource mobilization activities, and technical support in coordinated programs and projects to further the common goals and objectives of food and nutrition security in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). All these initiatives will be crucial efforts in meeting 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.


In August 2014, the 4th Summit of IOC Heads of State and Government held in Comoros, emphasized food security as a political priority for the region. Formulated in 2016 with FAO technical and financial support, PRESAN’s strategic vision is to promote the development of agricultural and food value chains of regional interest through the strengthening of competitiveness, the revitalization of intra-regional trade, and the improvement of the populations’ food and nutritional resilience.

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