– 07 October, 2016
: The national campaign on MauriGAP, the acronym for Mauritius Good Agricultural Practices, Level 1 Standard which is the basic standard for bio farming, was launched yesterday at Ebène by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun.
Accounting for local realities, MauriGap is a framework for good agricultural practices on horticultural local farms and is adapted from international standards of good agricultural practices. It provides a minimum achievable level of assurance and reliability acceptable to the local market.
MauriGAP Standards cover efficient use of resources; adoption of environmentally sound practices for natural resources; biodiversity preservation; pre and postharvest best practices; workers’ health and safety; and agricultural waste recycling.
In his address, the Minister stated that promoting food safety and efficient and sustainable production practices/system is a priority for Government. To meet this vision of a green economy and ensuring safe food within a sustainable context, the following actions are proposed by the Ministry: motivating farmers to shift towards sustainable production systems; providing renewable biological alternatives to agro chemicals; improving efficiency in natural resource use; and implementing certification scheme for Green Agriculture/ Bio-Farming.
Mauritius aims at producing no less than 50% of our total local food production according to bio-norms by 2020 but currently local food crop production heavily relies on the use of agro-chemicals particularly pesticides and fertilizers, he pointed out. Sustainable agriculture, he added, is an alternative approach that maximises the reliance on natural, renewable on-farm inputs while ensuring long-term environment protection, health benefits and economic viability.
It is in this context, that Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are being promoted, stated Mr Seeruttun, adding that meeting the GLOBALGAP criteria can be a daunting task for local producers. However, MauriGAP has been introduced with its Level 1 (Basic) and Level 2 (Advanced) to serve as steps towards Level 3 which corresponds to GLOBALGAP certification. Levels 2 and 3 will soon be introduced, he underlined.
It is recalled that the Mauritius Standard Bureau has published in October 2015 a Mauritian Standard on ‘Specification for Good Agricultural Practices for Crop Production – MauriGAP – Part 1 – Basic requirements’. It establishes basic requirements for sustainable crop production, focusing on GAP for food safety, environmental stewardship and farmer /worker welfare. It applies to open and protected field cultivation as well as to hydroponics. It is used for inspection and certification purposes of the crop production process.
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