The Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security is striving to boost the local milk production, which amounts, as at date, to only 4% of the milk and dairy products consumed in Mauritius, stated the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, this morning at the Esplanade of Renganaden Seeneevassen Building, in Port-Louis.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of an exhibition and sales of local dairy products in the context of the celebration of World Milk Day 2019, organised by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute. Products exhibited include soft cheese, mozzarella, feta, paneer, rasmalai and flavoured milk, among others.
Minister Seeruttun pointed out that in a bid to uplift the livestock sector and local milk production, new farming projects are being developed at Melrose and Salazie which will soon be operational. He further outlined that with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, and the Small Farmers Welfare Fund, providing necessary guidance and incentives to breeders, an increase in local milk production and derivatives can be achieved.
It will be recalled that over the years the annual imports of milk and its derivatives have considerably increased amounting to some Rs 3 billion as compared to an increase in milk consumption and to the number of local milk producers which have witnessed a decrease.
Furthermore, with the restructuration as outlined by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security regarding the sector, additional citizens will be able to launch their business in milk production and manufacturing of local dairy products. A mobile app has also been developed for the livestock sector with the collaboration of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology so that breeders can have access to information in an accurate and timely manner.
World Milk Day was first established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 2001. The theme for World Milk Day 2019, celebrated in more than 80 countries, is "Drink Milk: Today & Everyday." This day's aim is to educate people about the importance of milk in one's life and society in general. It also raises awareness of dairy's part in healthy diets, responsible food production, and supporting livelihoods and communities.