As reported by a local newspaper of the neighboring island, Reunion plans to purchase paddies from Madagascar. Such initiative is the outcome of the study conducted by the regional scientific network for the quality of food processing products, Qualireg, in 2011. The study concluded with the formal suggestion that Madagascar could meet Reunion’s needs in terms of organic rice destined for school cafeterias. Qualireg won the support of the International Funds of Agricultural Development (FIDA), one of the rare backers that didn’t cut its aids for Madagascar, while performing the study.
The study focused on various issues, including the characteristics of the neighboring island’s demand, the impact of exporting rice on the national or local food security, organic rice production and export capacity and the practical procedures of the project that would be the starting point of an organic rice supply network from Madagascar to Reunion. In a word, the study showed that the Malagasy organic rice meets the standards of the market in Reunion. But for the moment, the agricultural cooperation between the two islands is still in the process of study.
However, reliable sources indicate that the general council of Reunion plans to purchase paddies from Madagascar whose production is to be repatriated in the neighboring island. And the service of regional cooperation is currently reflecting on the way to realize such an ambitious project. However, it is important to note that selling land to foreigners is a highly sensitive issue in the country as it sparked the 2009 conflict that ended in the current political crisis. Thus, a good sense of transparency and management is vital for the implementation of such a risky project.