- 08 December, 2016:
A total of 53 trainees who have completed a five-day Training of Trainees module in Organic Crop Production, under the programme Support for the development of organic farming and institutional capacity building in Mauritius, received their certificates on 7 December 2016 at the R. Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre, University Of Mauritius, Réduit.
A joint initiative of the Ministry of Agro industry and Food Security and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the main objective of the project is to contribute towards strengthening national capabilities in organic agriculture in Mauritius.
The project is being implemented over a span of two years with technical assistance from the FAO. The participants were from FAREI, Agricultural Services, UOM, MCIA, SFWF, private sector, NGOs, Small Farmer Association and Individual farmers.
Present at the Ceremony of Award of certificates, the Minister of Agro industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, highlighted that organic production involves an integrated management system and a totally different approach is expected from farmers in this type of production system, thus the need for training and sharing of experience.
In that sense, capacity building of all relevant stakeholders is primordial to achieve the goals of improving the level of food security and food safety and promoting a more sustainable agriculture in the country, underlined the Minister.
Furthermore, Mr Seeruttun underpinned the invaluable benefits of organic fruits and vegetables of that being not only healthier, safer but are also known to be tastier, and more nutritious as well as having a longer shelf life and better storage properties. Research has shown that they contain a higher amount of anti-oxidants as compared to conventionally grown foods, pointed out the Minister while underscoring the importance of having a clean and safe agriculture.
Organic Agriculture – Incentives
An array of facilities have been put at the disposal of growers seeking to engage in organic agriculture: the Bio farming Promotion Scheme provides for benefits such as income tax holiday for the first eight years of operation of approved Bio farming project, VAT exemption on production equipment and other inputs acquired for implementation of the project and loan facilities under the MauBank Financing Scheme, among others.
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