GIS – 12 November 2018: A new wholesale market will soon be constructed at Wooton so that planters can sell their products directly to customers at a more competitive price.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement on 08 November 2018 during a site visit at Creve Coeur where he met garlic and ginger planters to take stock of their situation after the harvest. The Minister was accompanied by officers of the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI).
Minister Seeruttun recalled that at present some 1 600 tons of garlic are imported annually from China. On that score, he underlined the need to increase the production of local garlic, which currently stands at about 100 tons per year, to 300 tons within two years. Mauritius, he stated, on the other hand, is almost self-sufficient in fresh ginger while imports mainly concern the dried condiment in the form of paste. The transformation of ginger to achieve added value is a niche that can be exploited by local producers, he added.
He highlighted that, in a bid to encourage the garlic production, his Ministry has agreed to subsidise the price of seeds, following a request from some 100 planters. Mr Seeruttun further underscored that FAREI offers training sessions to planters who want to add value to their products in order to be more competitive on the market. With regards the lack of manpower, the Minister explained that planters can benefit from schemes to acquire small equipment to facilitate their work or resort to foreign labour.