GIS – 24 August 2018: Government is committed to provide the appropriate environment and support that are essential to encourage the production of locally cultivable food crops that are safe and healthy for consumption and meet the demands under the food security programme.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, made this statement yesterday at the launching of two new locally developed varieties of green beans at the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) in Réduit. The two varieties are: the FAREI Bean Selection 1 (FBS1); and, the FAREI Bean Selection 2 (FBS2) which produces string less pods.
According to the Minister, such endeavours must be encouraged to decrease our high dependency on importing vegetables which accounts to 77% and be self-sufficient on the production of food crops. Mauritius, he emphasised, must be in a position to produce its own local crops as the potential exists.
Minister Seeruttun further recalled the Sheltered farming scheme as enunciated in Budget 2018-2019 which provides for the setting up of 100 farms over the next two years to cater for the local production of food crops. Under that scheme, FAREI will give the necessary technical assistance and mentoring to young graduates and SMEs in developing their agri projects.
The Minister also spoke of giving a boost to the food security programme whereby a total amount of Rs 30 million has been earmarked for the establishment of a new Crop Insurance Scheme for planters to be operated by the Small Farmers Welfare Fund. He encouraged the youth to join the agri-business sector with the use of modern technology to cultivate the land.
About FBS 1 and FBS 2
The two new locally produced varieties of beans FBS 1 and FBS 2 have been produced following a snap bean breeding programme initiated since 2015 by the Agronomy Division of the FAREI where the first series of crosses were made between the Long Tom variety, currently widely grown in Mauritius and selected parents (Sodwana and Highway) with good agronomic characteristics. During successive years a pedigree method was used for the selection of the best progenies.
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