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Mauritius Media at a glance: 13 April 2008 - L'Estrac the ignorant


Jean Claude de L'Estrac, the Executive Director of the Sentinel Media Empire, has exposed his blissful ignorance in the editorial in the L'Express Dimanche of 13 April 2008. He writes: "Maurice, comme la plupart des pays emergents, a beaucoup negligé sa production agricole au cours de ces dernières années Le manquement n'a retenu l'attention de personne, ...."(our added emphasis). Perhaps if L'Estrac did not instruct his journalists to boycott all LALIT press conferences and activities, he would have become aware that the central aspect of our political work for the past 3 or 4 years has been articulated precisely around the absolute necessity of developing food production through agricultural diversification and agro-industries. Perhaps if L'Estrac and all the other media editors had not been too busy defending the "sugar barons", they could have seen our poster campaign about the need for the compensatory grants from the EU to go towards developing agro-industries, rather than to making the sugar estates profitable, through massive destruction of jobs in agriculture.

In contrast to L'Estrac's belated exposure to the "quadruple choc" that world-wide food shortages and rocketing prices represent, Darlmah Naeck, the Editor-in-Chief of the 5-Plus weekly (another newspaper in the same Sentinel Group with L'Estrac as the Executive Director), writes on the same day about the conversion to economic ultra-liberalism of movements like the MMM that used to propose "agricultural diversification" as part of their program in the 70's: "Le MMM a change son fusil d'epaule. LALIT, en revanche, a continue, par example, a militer en faveur de notre securite alimentaire." (our added emphasis)

So the need for agricultural diversification and the production of staple foods did "retenir notre attention"; perhaps the time has come now when more people will agree with Darlmah Naeck that: "Au fait, le deperissement de l'industrie sucriere est peut-etre une benediction." as it will liberate agricultural land for production of food and development of agro-industries.