The Regional Platform for Agricultural Research for Development in the Indian Ocean framework agreement has been extended for three years

Institutional news 2 December 2021
Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in charge of tourism, French citizens overseas and Francophonie; Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission; Huguette Bello, Chair of the Regional Council; Adèle Odon, Réunion departmental councillor; and Elisabeth Claverie de Saint-Martin, CEO of CIRAD, have extended the Regional Platform for Agricultural Research for Development in the Indian Ocean (PRéRAD-OI) framework agreement. The signing ceremony was held on 26 November 2021 in Saint-Denis (Réunion), during the extraordinary IOC Councillors Meeting.
© E. Jeuffrault, CIRAD
© E. Jeuffrault, CIRAD

Left to right: Adèle Odon, Réunion departmental councillor; Huguette Bello, Chair of the Réunion Regional Council; Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs; Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, IOC General Secretary; Elisabeth Claverie de Saint Martin, CEO of CIRAD © E. Jeuffrault, CIRAD

PRéRAD-OI is a tool for regional scientific cooperation in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It aims to boost the visibility of agricultural research and its contribution to sustainable development in the region.

Since 2014, the platform, which is led and coordinated by CIRAD, has associated the five Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) member countries. An initial framework agreement was signed on 5 June 2014 between the IOC, the Réunion préfecture, the Regional Council and CIRAD.

This second framework agreement, extended for three years, reaffirms the aims of PRéRAD-OI:

  • To be a tool for regional agricultural science cooperation in the Indian Ocean, serving to boost research, innovation and training, a triptych that is vital for the emergence of a long-term, dynamic partner ecosystem;
  • To participate in structuring a centre of excellence for  agricultural research and innovation;
  • To federate regional networks of engaged stakeholders;
  • To share useful resources and solutions that can be taken on board by public players, producers, professional organizations, and national and regional development agencies. The aim is to strengthen the links between these different communities and equip them with innovative, operational tools.

PRéRAD-OI is thus working to structure agricultural research in the zone, develop and promote innovation and build capacity among stakeholders from the agricultural sector, in order to respond to the main food, health and environment issues facing island territories in the zone.

The Observatory of Agriculture in the Indian Ocean, a unique decision support tool to steer investment in the region
This tool, led by PRéRAD-OI, serves to build shared, harmonized knowledge of the range of farming systems in various territories, how those systems operate and perform, and how they have changed over time. It is a crucial ban of decision support resources, and intends to offer producers and policymakers services such as assessments and recommendations, to enlighten transition and investment strategy building and progress towards sustainable, inclusive and resilient production systems. A feasibility study has been launched in Madagascar, in close partnership with an umbrella farmers' organization, the SOA network, backed by Afdi Madagascar and CIRAD in both Madagascar and Réunion. The aim is to roll out operations to other island countries in the sub-region.