Some 21 beneficiaries of Belle Vue Maurel Blueprint Employees' Site were handed over their title deeds, yesterday, during an official ceremony organised by Alteo Limited/Terra Milling Ltd in collaboration with the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA), at the Club House of Alteo in Union Flacq. Beneficiaries are former employees of the ex-Mon Loisir sugar factory which closed down in 2012.
The Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin; the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation; Mr Darsanand Balgobin; the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alteo Limited, Mr André Bonieux; the Managing Director of Terra Milling Ltd, Mr Nicolas Maigrot; the CEO of the MCIA, Mr Satish Purmessur; as well as other eminent personalities were present at the handing over ceremony.
In his address, Minister Gobin commended the renewed public-private partnership, which will be beneficial for the Mauritian cane industry. He highlighted that with new bold measures introduced by Government and following consultations with captains of the sector and development partners such as the World Bank, the cane industry still has a bright future ahead.
Minister Gobin recalled that a few years back, many stakeholders did not believe that this sector could still thrive. He underlined that, however, with new prices being affixed for Mauritian sugar, which are constantly on the rise due to its quality, Mauritian sugar is being sold in several niche markets worldwide.
He also pointed out that the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) morcellement projects have been delayed in the past. Nonetheless, he reckons that since 2014, through partnership agreements between Government and the private sector together with the collaboration of the MCIA, many morcellements were able to be completed.
The Agro-Industry Minister also announced that in August 2021, some 150 beneficiaries of Medine morcellement in Bambous will receive their title deeds while 120 beneficiaries of a morcellement in Bonne Mère will be handed other their title deeds in September this year. According to him, all these morcellements again confirm that the collaboration between Government and relevant stakeholders is yielding expected results.
For his part, the CEO of Alteo Limited, Mr André Bonieux, commended the employees of the ex-Mon Loisir sugar factory for their dedication and contribution to the industry over several years and underscored that the land they are receiving is the fruit of their hard work as well as a sign of recognition.
Mr Bonieux also dwelt on the introduction of a National Biomass Framework as announced in Budget 2021-2022. He stated that this measure, which is essential for the survival of the industry, was long overdue and expressed satisfaction that Government has been sensitive to the requests from planters and millers. "This is a step forward which will help to relieve all the players in the cane industry and which will ultimately contribute to the energy independence of our country", he added.
As for the CEO of the MCIA, Mr Purmessur, he recalled how the Mon Loisir sugar factory operated in the past and how the sugarcane sector had to adapt and innovate in order to meet local and international expectations. He added that, with time, the necessary expertise and competences were developed in a bid to shift from a sugar industry to a cane industry which allowed the production of by-products of sugarcane.