Madagascar's president vows to improve agriculture sector - CNBC Africa

Madagascar's president vows to improve agriculture sector

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Madagascar's president vows to improve agriculture sector. PHOTO: Madagascar Gov

The country’s main focus under the new presidency is rejuvenating its agriculture sector that previously made a significant contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

(READ MORE: African Union welcomes Madagascar back after vote- Council)

Agriculture is the backbone of Madagascar’s economy contributing 34 per cent of GDP and contributing more than 70 per cent to export earnings.

“My main goal is to fight poverty by setting up development strategies that are inclusive and sustainable as after 50 years of independence the people of Madagascar are still in poverty,” Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the Madagascan president told CNBC Africa.

Rajaonarimampianina also noted that during his tenure he would work in promoting foreign direct inflows.

The country has been receiving support from the World Bank, European Union, African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

(READ MORE: New Madagascar leader seeks donor meeting within 3 months)

The Madagascan president also noted that it was imperative for his country to improve its relations with South Africa.

“We have good relations with South Africa but there are lot of fields in which we can work together,” he noted.

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Since the political crisis of 2009, the country’s economic and social progress has been compromised.

According to the African Economic Outlook report, the country’s economic growth was at 1.9 per cent in 2012 and 2.6 per cent in 2013.

These figures were unimpressive against the IMF’s estimated sub-Saharan average of 5.1 per cent and an annual national population increase of 2.8 per cent.

The report further notes that, sluggish and poorly-distributed growth has not improved living conditions for most people and has damaged efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Among others, the MDGs include eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering woman, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and malaria and ensuring environmental sustainability. 

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