Monday, November 16, 2015

rencontre farmers dialogue mayotteThe Launch of the International Farmers' Meeting in Mayotte

The launch of the International Farmers' Dialogue (DEA) on 12 November 2015 in Mayotte wasn't held back by the barriers on the roads or the strikes that had been taking place for the last couple of days on the island. In spite of the delays, all the guests arrived at the right port, or rather on the right beach, using fishing boats as backups to link up the 2 islands. After an hours' journey by minibus, everyone met up in Acoua, alongside the farmers of the GVA (Grouping of Agricultural Popularisation). The GVA is one of the organisers of the meeting that took place in both Acoua (for the evening events and home hospitality) and in the capital, at Mayotte's third agricultural show. The presence of foreign farmers led one journalist to state that it was perhaps the first international meeting that has taken place on the island.

On Thursday evening, inside a marquee in the Town Hall courtyard, the president of the GVA, the Mayor of Acoua and the head of DAESA (the other organiser of the meeting) welcomed the foreign guests and the first conversations between the farmers began to take place, around a dinner made with the produce from the GVA farmers. A traditional dance group livened up the evening, before leaving the travellers to enjoy a well-earned rest with local families.

Friday started with the inauguration of the agricultural show and then DEA meetings at the show venue: 'feed our land and the planet'. The food situation in Rwanda was the main basis of thought, before a delegate from Madagascar presented the importance of small family farms to respond to the challenge of feeding the planet, reducing poverty (a particular issue in campaigns) and eliminating famine.

rencontre internationale d'agirulteurs a mayotteThe GVA is an inspiring example of the way small farmers from Mayotte have been affected by the thoughts heard in the Farmers' Dialogue meeting in Rwanda 4 years ago. They returned with strong convictions to mobilise the agricultural development in their commune, and to regroup the farmers who want to improve their production and commercialisation. The GVA of Acoua is now a proven reference in Mayotte, thanks to the quality of products sold, the organisation of the bi-monthly market, and the thorough and rigorous conditions of participation of its members. This shows how motivation and personal engagement are essential conditions for rural development, alongside technical, financial and structural tools

The meeting continued on Saturday and Sunday with opportunities for exchanges between participant and other exhibitors of the show, times dedicated to informal conversations and an exploration of the principles of the DEA and Initiatives of Change.

The dynamic of change is an integral part of rural and agricultural development!


For more information, please contact:

GENATIO Didier - or ABOU Anthoumani -

Translation by Claire Shires