11 October 2017

Mauritius: World Food Day 2017 - Invest in Food Security and Rural Development

press release

The Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security will, in the context of celebrations marking World Food Day 2017, organise a series of activities on the theme chosen by the Food and Agricultural Organization "Change the Future of Migration: Invest in food security and rural development".

The activities comprise a national exhibition/agricultural fair which will include sale of agricultural plants and flowers, sheltered farming structures, rain water harvesting and hydroponic systems and demonstration of local food dishes scheduled on 14 and 15 October 2017 at Domaine Les Pailles.

The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this announcement yesterday in Port Louis at a press conference in the presence of the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha.

Speaking about the increase in trade and the incidence of climate change, Minister Seeruttun underlined that these factors contribute to the rise in emerging pests and diseases which constitute a big threat to the agricultural sector. This is the reason why the Ministry, with the support of different stakeholders, is promoting clean and safe agriculture techniques which are resilient to climate change and favour sustainable agriculture, he said.

He reiterated Government's commitment to provide training programmes for planters in face of climate change and the challenges of food security. With a view to encouraging youngsters to join the agricultural sector, the Young Entrepreneur Scheme has been put in place, he said. On that score ten young entrepreneurs are being trained in the agro-business sector and will consequently be offered a plot of land at Plaine Magnien for their business start-ups. He invited the youngsters to take full advantage of the scheme and help develop this sector thus contribute in the economic development of the country.

Speaking on the Crop Insurance Scheme, Minister Seeruttun recalled that it aims at providing better support and assistance to planters whose crops are affected by natural calamities. The scheme which has been implemented on a pilot basis will be extended to a larger number of planters, as well as to breeders, he added.

For his part, Minister Bodha stated that the national exhibition/agricultural fair forms part activities that are being organised in the context of the 50th anniversary of Independence of Mauritius. The agricultural sector, he added, has been one of the main pillars of the economy and to depict the evolution of agriculture in Mauritius, a short film on Research and Development in sugarcane will be screened at the opening of the fair.

In the same context, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security will also organise mini agri-tech fairs and exhibitions at regional levels; open days at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority and experimental farms of the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute; talks and conferences on the agricultural sector; and trails and nature walks in national parks during the period November 2017 to February 2018.

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