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Rural area key to sustainable development in Madagascar: Agency | Coastweek

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- A young woman [left] spins silk during the opening of the 18th edition of the International Fair for Rural Economy of Madagascar (FIER MADA) in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar. Products [right] in the sectors of agriculture, livestock, fishing and handicraft from Madagascar’s 22 regions use the fair as an annual venue for exchanges. XINHUA PHOTOS - ERIC LAPEROZY

Rural area key to sustainable development in Madagascar: Agency

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- Rural area is key to sustainable development in Madagascar, authorities here said when they opened Wednesday the 18th edition of the International Fair for Rural Economy of Madagascar.

"Malagasy farmers’ products are not only for their consumption but also for the international market, which needs training for the quality of their products," Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Rivo Rakotovao said in his opening speech.

"We’ll do our best effort to let Madagascar independent in food, especially in rice," the minister said, adding that his department will professionalize farmers to respect standards in international markets.

The fair is an annual exchange platform between agriculture, livestock, fishing and handicraft producers from the 22 regions of Madagascar; public and private service providers for rural development as well as technical and financial partners for the promotion of rural activities.

For his part, Prime minister Mahafaly Solonandrasana said in his speech that rural activities is the lever of development and Malagasy young people should be interested in it.

"Access to the market needs professionalism, high technology, so that capacity building for farmers is so important," the Prime minister added.

"The road maintenance fund will be used also to repair roads to the rural production areas. Processes to have land in rural area will be facilitated and the government is thinking about giving pension to retired farmers," the prime minister disclosed.

About 350 stands were installed at the fair and organizers expected 50,000 visitors during the five-day event.


IMF announces immediate disbursement of 43.5 mln USD for Madagascar

ANTANANARIVO Madagascar (Xinhua) -- The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the immediate disbursement of 43.5 million U.S. dollar for Madagascar in the framework of Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, a statement received Friday from IMF office here said.

"The IMF executive board approved 304.7 million U.S. dollar under a 40-month ECF arrangement for Madagascar, to help reinforce macroeconomic stability and boost sustainable and

inclusive growth", the statement said following the decision taken in IMF headquarter in Washington on Wednesday.

"Following the Board’s decision, 43.5 million U.S. dollar is available for immediate disbursement; the remaining amount will be available in phases over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews," the statement said.

The ECF is aimed at reinforcing macroeconomic stability and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth in beneficiary countries.

Through the ECF, IMF plans to boost prospects for inclusive growth through improved access to education, health care, and social protection combined with enhanced infrastructure and private sector development in Madagascar.

IMF wants with its ECF to create also fiscal space through improved revenue generation and spending prioritization. It plans to reinforce economic governance in Madagascar by strengthening public financial management and intensifying anti-corruption measures.

It also wants to strengthen macroeconomic stability by bolstering central bank operations and financial supervision in Madagascar.

However, IMF asks some reform from Madagascar to unlock the remaining of the fund.

"The central bank has been strengthened by increased legal independence and growing international reserves.

|The authorities should remain vigilant about maintaining price stability, and continue to improve the operational framework for monetary policy implementation, including by establishing a well-functioning money market," IMF ordered Madagascar to do so if it wants the continuation of the program.

IMF also asked Madagascar to invest more in infrastructure, facilitate access to education and health care, increase tax revenue, reduce lower-priority spending, and stop the subvention to the state-owned enterprises, such as Madagascar electricity and water state-owned company JIRAMA.

Madagascar became a member of the IMF on Sept. 25, 1963, and has an IMF quota of 122.2 million special drawing right (SDR).

The country’s GDP growth is now estimated at 3.1 percent in 2015, which is slightly lower than that in 2014.

It remains among the poorest countries in the world, with a gross national income per capita of 440 dollar and 92 percent of people live with less than 2 dollar per day.


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