GIS - 05 July, 2018: The project ‘Ansam Anou Azir Pou Lavenir’, aiming to restore the natural biodiversity along the Takamaka river and surrounding vegetable plantations from Robinson in Curepipe to Malakoff in La Marie, was launched this morning at La Marie. The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr. Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, was present on the occasion.
A joint initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and the Small Farmers Welfare Fund, the project will involve amongst others the cleaning of the river and river banks, installation of beehives, planting of meliferous( Palm trees) plants and endemic tress, installation of traps for fruit flies and release of natural predators in view of preserving the environment and promoting sustainable agriculture.
In his address, Minister Seeruttun highlighted that the elaboration of the project underlines Government’s commitment to safeguard the environment and to provide necessary assistance to local farmers to increase productivity while improving the quality of their products. According to him, the project will be highly beneficial to small planters in the region as it will bring about increased pollination in crops and reduction of soil erosion, hence increasing productivity.
He observed that many current practices are damaging the country’s ecosystems and the biodiversity which is essential for healthy food production. It is crucial at this stage to step up efforts to raise awareness regarding the importance of adopting sustainable practices to protect the nature for the future generation, he said.
Minister Seeruttun emphasised on the need for sustainable agricultural development so as to restore the depleted ecosystem, protect consumers and boost production. On that score, he indicated that the National Assembly voted down the Use of Pesticides Bill this week. This new Bill aims to develop strategies for the sound use and management of pesticides and for risk reduction to human health and the environment.
Furthermore, he urged farmers to adopt bio-farming practices and decrease reliance on chemical inputs, for which Government is offering several incentives such as subsidies up to 60 % on bio-pesticides and bio-fertilisers, and training and sensibilisation campaigns regarding the safe use of pesticides.
The Minister proceeded with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and planting of meliforous and endemic trees along the banks of the Takamaka River.
On the same occasion and in the context of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Mauritius, senior farmers from the district of Plaines Wilhems were awarded a shield for their contribution to the agricultural sector and to the country’s economic success.
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