GIS - 01 August, 2018: The characteristics of three new varieties of sugarcane namely the M 1561/01, M 216/02 and the M 1698/02 were outlined to stakeholders yesterday during a presentation by the Director of the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute (MSIRI) and the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority, Dr Salem Saumtally, held in Réduit.
Dr Saumtally underscored that following the recommendations of the Cane Release Committee, these three new varieties will add to the list of the 72 existing varieties of sugarcane and they are expected to boost the cane sector.
Moreover, he emphasised the need to exploit new varieties in line with sustainable practices for the continuous improvement of the sugarcane industry. A new replanting policy, he pointed out, will be appropriate in order to increase national productivity of sugarcane, with a direct impact on the production of bagasse and in turn on renewable energy. The new varieties are found to be more suitable for wet and sub-humid zones and will contribute to expand the productivity for these areas.
Dr Saumtally highlighted that findings show that climatic changes have an adverse impact on the productivity of sugarcane in the country. On this score, he recalled of the orange rust disease which has been observed in March 2018 at Réduit on six-month old plants of a non-commercial sugarcane variety M 2705/06.
This variety which has been also planted in trials at Valetta, Rose Belle and Médine, presented the same symptoms. The disease is transmitted by wind and wind-blown rain and is favoured by warm humid and cool humid conditions, he pointed out.
On that note he underlined that the yielding of the new varieties will contribute to enhance productivity in terms of sugar production per hectare as they are more resilient to most diseases that prevail in the wet and humid areas.
The MSIRI Director underpinned that behind the 75 varieties of sugar cane that are being cultivated currently, there has been a lot of research work and trials to ensure that they are adapted to local conditions so as to meet the expectations of concerned stakeholders.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org