One of the aims of Government is to transform Mauritius into an organic island in the near future, through different projects implemented by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, as well as other institutions. Citizens will thus be encouraged to cultivate, as far as possible and without the use of any chemical product, vegetables in their backyard for their own consumption.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement yesterday at the launching of the Household Organic Garden project, at the Farmers Service Centre of Union Park.
Minister Seeruttun highlighted that in order to reach Government's objective, several incentives are being offered to planter to encourage them to shift from a conventional method to an organic one. One of these methods, he stated, is the bio-farming scheme whereby Government is financing all costs associated with the registration, certification and audit for those holders of a Bio-farming Development Certificate who would wish to acquire the international organic label for their farm produce.
He underscored that the launching of the Household Organic Garden project is part of a sensitisation campaign so as to encourage and enable the population to use the organic method of cultivation. Union Park, he added, has been chosen for the launching of the project, following several surveys carried out by the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI), as its climate is favourable and many inhabitants have space in their backyard to implement this method of agriculture.
The Agro-Industry Minister underlined that FAREI will also provide training, which is approved by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority, to some 200 inhabitants of Union Park, before implementing the project in other regions around the island. He also cautioned that all norms concerning organic agriculture will have to be adopted so as to ensure that every harvested product is healthy and of good quality.
During the launching ceremony, several beneficiaries received a starter kit to set up their own organic garden while certificates were also awarded to some organic growers who satisfy all required criteria in organic agriculture.