Beneficiaries of the European Union (EU) Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) Flagship initiative to support Climate Smart Agriculture for small holders in the Republic of Mauritius were allocated grant yesterday at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority in Réduit in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall.
An amount of around Rs 51 million has been earmarked for the GCCA+ Flagship initiative which is in line with EU new Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) to contribute to the EU's response to global climate change challenges. Mauritius has been allocated EUR 2.4 Million for the period 2016-2020 to support climate smart agriculture for small holders in Mauritius under Lot 1 (EUR 1.4 Million) and under Lot 2 (EUR 1.0 Million) for Rodrigues with the EU as Contracting Authority.
The beneficiaries that have been awarded grant by the EU for implementation of climate resilient projects are: University of Mauritius; Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture; and Irrigation Authority. The objective is to increase the resilience to climate change of small holders in the Republic of Mauritius thereby contributing to sustainable livelihoods.
In his address, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, spoke of the adverse effects of climate change on the agricultural sector in Mauritius which ultimately is causing negative consequences on farming activities and food production, resulting in risks of crop failure and food insecurity. On this score, he welcomed the EU initiative for adaptation and mitigation interventions to address the impacts of climate and support small farmers in this endeavor.
The Minister also urged small farmers to take advantage of the grants to improve their farming practices and quality of production.
For her part, Ambassador Sall reiterated the EU's commitment to supporting Mauritius in the face of climate change while adding that the GCCA+ initiative is the EU's largest Flagship programme to support vulnerable countries against the effects of climate change. She further pointed out that combatting the effects of climate change is high on the agenda of the EU and that EU will continue to provide assistance to increase resilience of small farmers against the challenges of climate change while increasing their capacity to adopt climate smart agricultural practices.