A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), pertaining to the supply of commodities by the Agricultural Marketing Board (AMB) to the retail outlets of the Mauritius Consumers' Co-operative Federation Ltd (MCCF), was signed, this morning, in Port Louis. The aim of the MoU is to create greater synergy between the two organisations and to provide quality products at competitive prices to consumers.
The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, as well as other personalities were present on this occasion. Signatories were the General Manager of the AMB, Mr Gowkaran Oree, and the President of the MCCF, Mr Daramraj Yerukunondu.
In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that, following the signing of this MoU, the MCCF, with support from the Ministry, will open and operate four sale outlets, namely at Plaine Magnien, Terre Rouge, Flacq and Bambous. In this way, consumers around the island will be able to have an easy access to fresh products offered by the AMB, namely potatoes, garlic and onions. These outlets will also enable other cooperatives to sell their products to the public. In the same vein, a superette will be inaugurated at La Flaura on 05 August 2020.
Moreover, Mr Bholah recalled that Mauritius is now Covid-19 free following bold measures taken by Government and initiatives, such as this MoU signing, are now being undertaken so as to avoid any difficulty that may crop up in the future. He also added that cooperatives are essential partners in the socio-economic development of the country.
For his part, Minister Gobin pointed out that the partnership between the two Ministries is based on new synergies geared towards the achievement of common goals of boosting the agricultural sector and strengthening food production and security in the country. Such initiatives, he emphasised, will help Mauritius to achieve food independence so as to avoid the difficulties faced by the country in terms of food supply during the lockdown following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, he said that the AMB will now be able to focus on its primary role of being a central agency while outlets of several cooperative societies can be used so as to ease the distribution of products to consumers.
He also underlined the need for all institutions and ministries to join efforts for the progress and benefit of the population, before adding that another example of collaboration was the signing of an MoU in June 2020 between the Mauritius Cooperative Agricultural Federation Ltd and the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority for the acquisition of a harvester for the harvesting of sugar cane by small planters.