The promotion of sustainable, climate change resilient and safe food production techniques is one of Government's major endeavours. In this context, organic farming is not only one of the most sustainable and climate change resilient agricultural production techniques, but it also ensures the safety of consumers and the safeguard of the environment.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement yesterday at the opening of the Final Project Workshop entitled "Support for Development of Organic Farming and Institutional Capacity Building in Mauritius" at Le Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava. Some 30 participants attended the half-day workshop.
Minister Seeruttun highlighted that the project is in line with Government's commitment to support sustainable agricultural development and safe food production for the local market, as well as diminish the high reliance on chemical inputs. He emphasised that one of the major outputs of the project is the drafting of an organic agriculture legislation to regulate the local organic farming sector. The objective of this legislation, he pointed out, will be to provide a legal framework to food crops and livestock products in Mauritius.
The Agro-Industry Minister underlined that his Ministry intends to launch a sensitisation campaign regarding the Organic Agriculture Bill early next year, so that the Organic Agriculture Act can be passed and regulations published by June 2018. The standards drafted under the project will allow the population to enjoy high quality organic products which are in no way inferior to those already available on the market, he added.
A large majority of the population has been made aware of Government's commitment to promote organic food production through sensitisation campaigns conducted; the World Food Day 2017 celebration; training conducted by the Food and Agriculture Research and Extension Institute; and the incentives offered through the bio-farming scheme, among others, underscored the Minister.
The half-day workshop was also an opportunity to review major activities carried out under the Food and Agriculture Organisation sponsored programme and gave an overview of the National Strategic Plan for Organic Farming: 2017 - 2027.