Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] Coronavirus: World risks 'biblical' famines due to pandemic - UN

Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Mercredi 22 Avril 2020


We have since had warnings from the IMF, the World Bank, and all sorts of reputable financial organisations that the world will soon face an economic slump of a magnitude we have never seen before. Padaleksi has told us of his forecast that the economy of Mauritius faces a drop of around 10%, although I fear it will be higher than this.

We have just heard how the Ali Baba cavern known as Air Mauritius has now gone into administration with an accuntant called Hajee Abdoula in charge of that corpse. Those of us who remember the gargantuan feat of Abdoola in claiming and getting Rs 27 millions for 3 weeks 'work' in the dismantling and theft of BAI somehow know that the corpse will soon have no bones....

In the post of 12th April, I wrote: " So, what can we do to prevent the starvation looming for many in a few months' time? Remember, soon we will not be able to import food from abroad because the food exporting countries will rightly want to keep the food they export to us for their own people. I am afraid there is only one solution, and it makes me look back to the days when the MMM was a truly Lepep party until it was unfortunately taken over by the caviar and champagne mob represented by the darlings of the press like Dev Virahsawmy, Jean Claude de L'Estrac and many others arrivistes and assorted snobs. The MMM gained enormously popularity in every corner of the island with its agrarian policy that demanded a redistribution of land and self sufficiency in vegetables, milk, meat, etc.....What have we had instead? Prime agricultural lands have been converted into so called Smart cities and gated communities and, to make matters worse, the owners were rewarded with huge tax exemptions to the tune of billions of rupees, despite the taxpayer funding the construction of roads and providing utilities free of charge to them! More and more planters have abandoned their fields and the end result? scarcity of fresh food for us and consequentially, a price that a lot of us can no longer afford."

I put forward what I believe to be the only viable proposal in an island where most of the land is owned by a few families: " So, what can be done now to forestall the impending disaster facing us? If Pravind Jugnauth wants to regain some popularity, he will have to do one of 2 things:

1/ tell the big landowners to play the game now and to use a few thousand acres of their land for the cultivation all year round of the vegetables that we all need, and to sell them at a price that allows them a decent margin without strangling us. If 1/ fails, then he has no choice but to implement

2/ : Confiscate as many acres as will be needed to feed this population, and allocate them at minimum rent to real planters. Monitor the output from these lands on an annual basis and cancel the rent of those ki p zis kass ene poz, and transfer the lease to people who want to work the land. This would also be an ideal opportunity for our downtrodden Creole community to get a share of the cake that they have been denied for far too long. "

Today, the United Nations has warned that "the world is at risk of widespread famines of "Biblical proportions" caused by the coronavirus" pandemic.

David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said urgent action was needed to avoid a catastrophe. A report estimates that the number suffering from hunger could go from 135 million to more than 250 million....

Even before the pandemic hit, parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades.

We have already wasted far too much time over a government communication exercise that has been a fiasco, with third rate politicians no longer adept in the art of lying to us. We have been incredibly complacent in allowing so many thieves exploit the misery of a whole population by price over charging and artificial shortage of basic necessities, with no credible criminal or punitive sanctions for the thieves.

This is during a time when the harvest is still on, so we should be fairly ok for the next two months or so. But what about afterwards? Has anyone thought about how we are going to replace the potatoes, onions, etc imported from India and elsewhere when those countries might soon stop their exportation?

A real statesman looks to the future of the country and should never dwell on who is getting more attention than his stupid ministers on MBCTV. He should have already started the process of talking to the big landowners and asking them this simple question: kan zot koumans plante legumes la? And if they give a stupid answer, then he should have the guts and the patriotism he often accuses others of not having to say: "Fine. I am bringing in emergency legislation next week to confiscate the acres of land in your possession that we need to feed the population".

But is Pravind Jugnauth a statesman? Or the head of a clan that has become enormously rich, not least from the 'donations' of those rich landowners?

When you see in less than 2 month's time that the market stalls are becoming quite empty, pa dire ki mo pa ti dire!

Mercredi 22 Avril 2020

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