An Organic Research Station was inaugurated yesterday at the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute in Pamplemousses in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security.
This initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, is in line with Government's vision to move from conventional modes of agricultural production and shift to environmentally sustainable techniques of productivity. The objective is to provide planters with advice and assistance and carry out demonstrations on the techniques of organic agricultural production and practices.
In his address at the launching ceremony, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, stated that this research station will be dedicated to organic agricultural production whereby stakeholders will benefit from techniques and training. The production of organic mulch, cover crops collection, compost activators, inoculation of finished compost with fertilisers and insect pest management feature among some of the organic cultural practices that will be available at the station, he recalled.
The Minister stressed that planters and consumers should be sensitised on the importance of organic food production, adding that planters should maximise on the minimal use of chemical fertilisers to promote food security and safety, and eventually a healthy sustainable environment. He expressed his confidence that the decrease in the use of chemical products will enhance the ecosystem and thus protect the environment for future generations.
Speaking about the series of measures and schemes that have been put in place for the benefit of planters, Mr. Seeruttun said that the planting community should seize the opportunity to engage in quality food production for consumer satisfaction. He stressed that planters should take necessary precautions at each step of agricultural production, that is optimise on soil fertility while ensuring the quality and quantity of seeds sowing. Planters, he underlined, should also abide to an adequate dosage of fertilisers to increase productivity and avoid losses.
With regard to the challenges faced by planters, in particular climate change, the Minister pointed out that the Ministry will provide the necessary support in their agricultural activities. The community of planters should make maximum use of training that will be provided by the Organic station to boost the organic agricultural sector, he added.
On that occasion, Mr. Seeruttun proceeded with the award of certificates and a distribution of bio-fertilisers to participants who have followed a training in organic crop production.