GIS - 11 June, 2020: With the aim of consolidating food security and boost local agricultural activities, the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, to establish a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the setting up of four market outlets to be run by the National Cooperatives Consumer Federation.
The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, made this announcement , yesterday, at the launching ceremony of the Online Training in Bio-organic Farming for Cooperatives (Level 2, Practical sessions) to be conducted by the National Cooperative College , at the Falcon Bio-organic Farm in Terre-Rouge.
The Minister underlined that the market outlets will be a platform whereby the Agricultural Marketing Board, small farmers and cooperatives will sell their products to small business owners and the public.
Mr Soomilduth Bholah stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered individuals, institutions, entrepreneurs and the Government to ponder on the need to bring some changes around us. The focus during the Covid-19 lockdown centered around the fragile demand and supply of food and the country’s self-sufficiency in agricultural products, he said.
According to him, the pandemic has indeed highlighted the importance of reinforcing local production and consumption, which he emphasised , was already on the Ministry’s agenda prior to the pandemic.
He stressed on the crucial need to promote local farming and maximise agricultural activities, which can be achieved by the optimum use of the land allocated to cooperative societies, and modern farming methods that require the use of less land but have higher yields.
Speaking about the drastic consequences of the use of pesticides in farming, the Minister observed that the future of agriculture lies in bio-farming that brings in greater productivity and safer food production.
Moreover, he reiterated his determination to provide the necessary support to the cooperative sector, so that their business activities flourish. He also announced that the Ministry is planning the reopening of cooperatives retails shops so that cooperatives are able to increase and market their products at a reasonable price.
As regards the training course, the Minister underlined that it is in line with Government’s policy to drive agricultural innovation, promote green and sustainable agriculture and increase food production. The course is geared towards providing at level 1, theoretical aspects of Bio-Organic farming and at level 2, practical exposure and necessary skills and techniques to participants.
On that occasion, certificates and agricultural tools were remitted to some 46 participants who have successfully completed training in Level 1 Bio-Organic farming training which started on 05 February 2020 and had to be completed through online sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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