The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, exhorted youths to seize opportunities in agricultural sector which will undergo a major transformation in the coming years.
He was speaking yesterday during the inauguration of the Plaine Magnien Young Entrepreneurs Sheltered Farming Park, a Government-funded project to the tune of Rs 20 million to be implemented by the Food and Agricultural Research Extension Institute in collaboration with SME Mauritius Ltd and the Human Resource Development Council. Omnicane has allocated 2000 hectares for this project. Nine beneficiaries aged between 25 and 35, and possessing university degrees have been selected for the project after having undergone training in sheltered farming.
Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed the wish for a new generation of entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector with emphasis on sheltered farming He also evoked the difficulties faced by planters in both the sugar and non-sugar sectors, as well as the livestock sector and reiterated his full support to help them overcome the challenges which are mostly due to climate change. He observed that the number of planters has decreased with 15 000 planters as at date.
Moreover, he cautioned planters against the abusive use of pesticides and added that severe sanctions will be taken against those who are thinking only about profit making thus putting at risk the lives of others and making the lands infertile. Hence, he recommends a judicious use of pesticide for the well-being of one and all.
The Prime Minister recalled the various measures and projects put in place by Government for the development and sustainability of the agro-industry sector.
For his part, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, listed out the measures upon which his Ministry has embarked to provide the best facilities to planters. He said that Rs 14 million has been disbursed to help planters who have been severely affected by the effects of climate change and a sum of Rs 36 million has been disbursed by the Development Bank of Mauritius to help planters put their business back on track.