GIS - 10 February, 2020: The Development-Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture Initiative (DeSIRA), developed by the European Union, aiming at enhancing the research and development capacity of the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) for sustainable and modern agriculture , was signed this morning, by the Attorney General , Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr. Maneesh Gobin and the Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritius, Mr. Vincent Degert, at the Farmer Training School in Wootun.
Mauritius has been chosen for the implementation of specific activities under the initiative ‘Supporting Sustainable Agriculture for Improved Food security and safety in the Republic of Mauritius’. In this respect, the FAREI has been awarded a grant of Rs 100 M with the aim of fostering innovation in agriculture through the consolidation of the institute’s research and development capacity to address climate challenges and development of climate smart practices for sustainable production.
In his address on the occasion, Minister Gobin expressed gratitude to the EU for its support in the implementation of the DeSIRA initiative as well as the various other projects in different spheres. He underlined that the FAREI contributes significantly to the agro-industry sector of the country and has made key achievements.
He observed that the institute has a pool of well-qualified and competent technicians and emphasised on the need for frontline officers to be taken on board during the implementation of key projects so that they are inculcated with the necessary knowledge and information.
The Minister hence urged FAREI representatives to elaborate a plan for officers working on site, wherein they are familiarised with the necessary information regarding the implementation of the DeSIRA initiative.
As for the EU Ambassador, he spoke on the urgent need for enhanced global action in light of the climate emergency and reiterated EU’s determination to accelerate climate actions to help save the planet. EU has been partnering with Mauritius by providing assistance so that the country achieves its Sustainable Development Goals, he said.
The DeSIRA Initiative, he added, is a testimony of our strong commitment to play the role of the leader in scaling global efforts towards this end. The initiative is part of EU’s contribution to transform the agriculture and food systems of developing countries, he indicated.
The Ambassador pointed out that promoting sustainable agriculture is key for the survival of mankind and essential for the legacy of a safe and secure planet for the next generations to come. On that score, Mr. Vincent Degert dwelt on the benefits of shifting to green and smart agriculture and commended Mauritius for being among the few countries to recognise the need to adopt sustainable development principles to agriculture.
According to him, if countries join forces and move together, they will move faster towards the common goal of saving the planet.
EU has developed with its members states the DeSIRA Initiative geared towards promoting science in development with a view to foster innovation for increased impact, and building up research capacities for innovation.
The EU has earmarked a budget of EUR 2.450 M for the implementation of the project which will be implemented over a period of 36 months.
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