A three-day Salon de l'Agriculture aimed at showcasing different facilities provided to planters as well as promoting agricultural products for the benefit of the public in the context of the World Food Day 2018, was launched on 19 October 2018 at the Domaine Les Pailles. The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, and other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
In his address, the Minister highlighted that in the wake of climatic changes, the community of planters has to face constraints to cultivate the land for agricultural production. He underscored that several incentives are being provided to address the problems encountered by planters. Government, he underlined, has put in place various measures with a view to give an impetus to the agricultural sector for the welfare of the planters and the population.
Some of the measures include the introduction of the Use of Pesticides Bill which is to regulate, control and monitor the importation and use of pesticides in or on certain fresh fruits, plants, seeds or vegetables in line to minimising risks to human health and the environment; the Sheltered Farming Scheme to encourage farmers to shift from traditional open field cultivation to sheltered farming system; the Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Programme for educated youths to venture in the field of innovative agriculture and agro-processing.
As regards the expansion of the agricultural sector, Minister Seeruttun pointed out that more youth should be encouraged to cultivate the land while adding that the high dependency on the importation of vegetables should be decreased so as to be more self-sufficient on the local production of food crops.
On that occasion, the Mini Sheltered Farming Scheme, aiming to promote micro gardens, vertical agriculture and roof top gardening, with a grant of up to Rs 10 000 to eligible families, was launched.
A Fact sheet on predators of Aphid, a booklet on Quail Farming, a new variety of potato namely Vigora and two varieties of anthuriums, Starlight and Twilight were also launched at the event.
Furthermore, an award of prizes to reward winners of a Drawing and Essay competition was held. Different age groups participated namely (8 to 10 years), (11 to 14 years) and (15 to 18 years).
A highlight on projects that are being undertaken in Mauritius with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was also given by the FAO National Correspondent, Mr P. Khurun.
Salon de l'Agriculture
The event, which was held from 19 to 21 October 2018, is an initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security which served as a platform to promote sustainable agriculture for food security. Agricultural products at promotional prices were put at the disposal of the public.