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Food security strategic plan 2013 2015 Food security strategic plan 2013 2015 Document Transcript

  • Food Security Fund Strategic Plan -2013-2015Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security
  • Executive SummaryThe Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security (MAIFS) has launched the Food SecurityStrategic Plan 2008 to 2011 with a view to: increase production of priority crops; maintain self-sufficiency level in poultry meat and fresh vegetables; introduce new protein-rich crops(soybean); provide more land for production of foodstuffs; encourage the regrouping of small-scale farmers; achieve a higher self-sufficiency level in the production of fresh milk and meat;sensitize the population on the benefits of eating healthy foods; mitigate the marketingconstraints encountered by small food crop farmers; and partner with regional countries for theproduction of selected commodities (potato, maize, rice, onion and pulses).The plan has been implemented as scheduled and looking back in retrospective it is noted thata significant boost has been given to both the crop and livestock sector. In the Crop sector, foodcrop production has increased by 23.7% (from 93,000t in 2008 to around 115,000t in 2011).Potato production increased by 45% in 2011. Under the 1000 Arpent Scheme, some 233arpents of MSPA land were allocated to Farmers Cooperative Groups and Associations for theundertaking of food crop and livestock production activities in the region Rouge Terre,L’Espérance, Mare D’Albert and St Hubert. 13 Onion curing units were set up in the main oniongrowing regions to assist onion producers in improving the post-harvest quality and the shelflife of onion bulbs. 11 are being used for seedling production during the onion off-season. Anonion curing unit scheme was launched in 2011 to promote curing of onions as a means toreduce post harvest losses. The Sheltered Farming Scheme was launched in 2011 to encouragegrowers to shift from traditional labour intensive production system under open field toprotected cultivation.In terms of R & D projects, 3 new onion varieties were recommended and released to growersafter field evaluation and testing. Concerning pulses, out of 44 Lima bean varieties introduced,and evaluated, 6 bush-type and 8 pole type varieties were found promising and are to bepromoted among planters in 2013. Similarly, 4 processing tomato varieties were introducedtested and found promising and are being promoted for the agro-processing industry. Theproduction and consumption of local starchy crops was promoted. Protocols for flour makingfrom breadfruit, banana and cassava have been developed.In the Livestock sector, Milk production increased by around 37% (from 4.3M L in 2008 to5.9M L in 2011). Meat production (excluding poultry and home slaughter) increased by 53%(from 830t in 2008 to 1,300t in 2011). With a view to modernize the livestock sector, 8schemes / projects comprising the setting up of model farms and multiplier goat farms, thepurchase of breeding animals (cows/goats/sheep) and equipments, the construction/renovation of farm buildings and establishment of fodder plantations were implemented.Consequently, 25 farm buildings were constructed, 8 beneficiaries purchased 180 importedpregnant heifers and 50 goats. 13 beneficiaries established fodder plantation on a total of 148arpents of land and 8 beneficiaries purchased equipment for dairy, goat and poultry farms. Onemodel dairy farm is being constructed on State Land at Petit Merlo. The Construction of one i
  • goat multiplier farm is almost completed at Mare D’Albert. In terms of capacity building,12,000 farmers were trained in crop and livestock production.Food Security Strategic Plan 2013-2015The Food Security Strategic Plan 2012-2015 has been prepared as a continuation to theprevious strategic plan which reached its termination phase in December 2011. This plan takesinto account all the shortcomings experienced under the previous plan and the lessons learnttherein. It also takes into consideration all challenges facing the agricultural sector and thecurrent trends observed in the agro-industry. Input from other players in the sector has alsobeen taken on board and validation of the AREU proposals has been sought through astakeholders meeting. Key elements that need to be considered in the elaboration of the planwere also identified while at the same time taking on board all actions to be implementedunder the Government Programme 2013-2015.The main objectives of the plan is to improve the level of self sufficiency in variouscommodities, promote export and create new opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs andrural families to increase farm income and productivity while conserving the naturalbiodiversity and providing safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.It is evident that targeting 100% self-sufficiency in food production is not feasible. A realisticstrategy would be to target around 33% self-sufficiency level with the objective of increasingthe annual food crop production from 115,000t to reach 130,000t by the year 2015. Withrespect to milk and meat a self sufficiency of 10% and 15% respectively is targeted with theobjective of increasing milk production from 5.9 M litres to 14 M litres and meat productionfrom 1,300t to 2,300t by the year 2015.In order to achieve the above objectives and the target set it is important that the Ministrycreates an enabling environment that is conducive for its realisation.The main areas of intervention for 2013 to 2015 relate to the implementation of the followingactions and incentives:  Facilitating access to agricultural land;  Mechanization of farm activities in crop (land preparation, direct sowing, etc…) and livestock (milking, cleaning, fodder harvesting, etc..) production;  R&D activities on development of sustainable agricultural practices based on resource conservation technologies and best management practices to optimize use of natural resources (land, water, organic matter), crop varieties, livestock breeds, feed resources and to improve productivity of livestock and crops such as potato, onion, pulses, garlic, maize and mushroom and local fruits and protect the natural environment; ii
  •  Provision of efficient and effective institutional support and services;  Support to farmers to embark in production of planting materials (seed and seedlings) for strategic crops including underutilized fruits species and, production of breeding animals;  Provision of facilities for modernizing existing and setting up of new livestock farms;  Setting up of new schemes and facilitating access to existing and new schemes for motivating farmers in increasing production and productivity;  Capacity building for production of primary and value added products; and  Facilitating access to market.In order to finance the various actions, schemes and incentives proposed in the plan, abudget estimate of Rs1,086M would be required. This comprises Rs458M for the Crop Sector,Rs457M for the Livestock Sector and Rs171 for Rodrigues (Rs94M for Livestock and Rs77M forthe Crop Sector). The budget would be used to fund infrastructural development and landpreparation, mechanisation of farm operations, schemes for modernising the agricultural sectorthrough use of improved varieties/ breeds, research and development activities and capacitybuilding among others. This plan provides for measures to achieve up to 33% of our foodrequirements based on assumption that land and funds are made available in a timely manner. iii
  • Table of Contents1. Introduction 12. Fundamental truth on agricultural production in Mauritius 13. Food Security Strategic Plan 2008-2011 24. Main achievements of the Food Security Strategic Plan 35. Food Security Strategic Plan 2013-2015 46. Challenges and trends 57. Key elements considered under the Food Security Strategic Plan 2013-2015 68. Broad objectives of the Food Security Fund Strategic Plan 69. Conceptual approach towards attaining food security 710. Capacity building, information dissemination and advisory services 811. Mechanisation of agricultural practices 1012. Creation of enabling environment 1013. Crop sector 1114. Enhancement of support services and sectors 2315. Cross border initiative 2816. Livestock Sector 2917. Cross cutting issues 3818. Strategic Plan for Rodrigues 4019. Conclusion 46
  • 1. IntroductionThe Mauritian agriculture, excluding forestry is dominated largely by sugar cane cultivation. In2010, some 4,300ha was devoted to the cultivation of various food crops and fruits out of thetotal cultivable area of 62,100ha. The contribution of agriculture to the national GDP wasestimated at 4.0% (2010) and the share of the non-sugar sector was 2.7%. Agriculturalproduction activities are undertaken mainly by the corporate sector and a large number ofsmall farmers from the crop and livestock sector providing employment to some 48,000persons.The production of food crops amounting to some 115,000t annually is undertaken mainly tomeet local requirements with seasonal imports of some important crops as potato, onion andgarlic. This sector is characterized by low level of technology adopted, high dependence onmanual labour for operations and small scale holdings. The demand is for more diversified foodproducts, ranging from fresh to processed products. There is an increasing concern for betterquality, traceability and safer produce. The Government vision is to facilitate the commercialproduce of crops to improve the food security level, income generation capacity and welfare offarmers.Livestock production is undertaken by some 5,500 farmers involved mainly in cattle, goat,sheep, pig, deer, and poultry farming and production of around 5.9M litres of milk, 1300t meatand 40,000t poultry meat annually. The estimated livestock population is around 130,000 headscomprising 7,000 cattle, 28,300 goats, 2,000 sheep, 65,000 deer 23,500 pigs and 3,400 rabbits.2. Fundamental Truth on Agricultural Production in MauritiusThe annual food crop production turns around 25% of the total food requirements while theremaining 75% comprising staple food such as wheat, rice, onion, garlic, canned tomato forcooking and fruits are imported. Availability of agricultural land, inputs (agrochemicals, etc.)and labour scarcity are major factors limiting food crop production.To achieve 100% self-sufficiency in staple food and milk, about 177,440ha would be requiredover and above of the 3,500ha actually under food crop production as follows: 41,300ha in the humid and irrigated sub-humid zones to produce the 165,000t of wheat; 16,000ha in the super-humid and irrigated humid zones to produce the 78,000t of rice; 14,000ha to produce the 81,538t of dried maize; 200ha to produce the 1794t of dried garlic; 200ha to produce the 6,000t to 6,500t of canned tomato; 1
  •  100,000ha to produce the 35,000t of sunflower oil; 40ha to produce the 250t of chili; 5,400ha to produce 534,375t of fodder to raise 28,000 cows to produce 114,000M litres milk; and 300ha to produce the 250t of imported fruits (oranges, mandarins and lemons).It is evident that targeting 100% self-sufficiency in food production is not feasible. A realisticstrategy would be to target around 33% self-sufficiency level with the objective of increasingthe annual food crop production from 115,000t to reach 130,000t and milk production from 6Mlitres to reach 14M litres by the year 2015.To achieve the 33% set target in 2015, it proposed that 1,075ha of agricultural land be initiallyreleased to increase production of onion, potato, garlic, maize, fruits and fodder / pasture formeat and milk production as follows: 130ha for onion; 200ha for potato; 25ha for garlic; 50ha for pulses; 45ha for maize; 25ha for setting up fruit villages; and 600ha for fodder.Since Food security is of national concern, schemes should be developed and opened to allproducers willing to contribute towards achieving the proposed target.3. Food Security Strategic Plan 2008-2011In 2008, the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security (MAIFS) prepared a Food SecurityStrategic Plan extended over a three year period of 2008 to 2011. Subsequently, a FoodSecurity Plan Steering Committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MAIFS was set upto monitor the implementation of the various activities identified under the plan.The broad objectives of the Food Security Strategic Plan were to: Increase the production volume of a number of priority crops; Maintain self-sufficiency level in poultry meat and fresh vegetables; Introduce new protein-rich crops (soybean); Provide more land for production of foodstuffs; 2
  •  Encourage the regrouping of small-scale farmers; Achieve a higher self-sufficiency level in the production of fresh milk, beef, goat/sheep and pork meat; Sensitize the population on the benefits of eating healthy foods; Mitigate the marketing constraints encountered by small food crop farmers; and Partner with regional countries for the production of selected commodities (potato, maize, rice, onion, pulses).4. Main achievements of the Food Security Strategic PlanDuring the implementation phase of the various projects and activities earmarked under theFood Security Strategic Plan, it is important to put on record that the following mainachievements have been materialized under the close follow up the Food Security FundSteering Committee of the MAIFS.Crop Sector Food crop production has increased by 23.7% (from 93,000t in 2008 to about 115,000t in 2011). Potato production had increased by 45% in 2011 as a result of an increase in area under potato cultivation. In contrast, there had been a decrease in onion production by 12%; The release of MSPA Land under the 1000 Arpent Scheme was launched by the MAIFS in 2010 with a view to increase the level of self-sufficiency in food crop and livestock production Some 233 arpents of land were allocated to Farmers Cooperative Groups and Associations for the undertaking of food crop and livestock production activities in the region Rouge Terre, L’Espérance, Mare D’Albert and St Hubert; The Onion Curing Unit Project was launched in 2010 in order to assist onion producers in improving the post-harvest quality and the shelf life of onion bulbs. 13 units have been installed and 11 of them are also used for seedling production. A scheme was launched in 2011 to promote the use of curing unit; The Sheltered Farming Scheme was launched in 2011 to encourage growers to shift from traditional labour intensive production system under open field to protected cultivation; Under the implementation of Research and Development projects, 3 onion varieties were released. One of them were introduced, tested and were recommended for commercial cultivation in 2011. The other 2 varieties, Bellarose and Francia, were newly bred and released, were promoted. Mother bulbs and seeds of Bella Rose and Francia were produced to promote these varieties among onion growers; 3
  •  Concerning pulses, out of 44 Lima bean varieties introduced and evaluated, 6 bush-type and 8 pole type varieties were identified as promising and are being promoted on large scale demonstration and production; 4 processing tomato varieties were introduced, tested and found promising. They are being promoted for the agro-processing industry; and In terms of the promotion of the production and consumption of local starchy crops, local breadfruit germplasm was characterized and 3 clones identified. Protocols for flour from breadfruit, banana and cassava have been developed. Flour developed from breadfruit, banana and cassava has been found highly suitable for partial substitution of wheat flour.Livestock Sector Milk production is estimated to have increased by 37% (from 4.3M L in 2008 to 5.9M L in 2011). Meat production comprising beef, goat meat, sheep, pig meat and venison (excluding home slaughter) increased by 53% (from 830t in 2008 to 1,300t in 2011); 6 schemes have been launched to modernize the livestock sector. 5 of them are being implemented and comprises purchase of improved breeding animals (cows/ goats/sheep), construction/renovation of farm buildings, purchase of equipment and establishment of fodder plantation. 25 farm buildings have been constructed, 8 beneficiaries have purchased 180 imported pregnant heifers and 50 goats, 13 beneficiaries have established fodder plantation on a total of 148 arpents of land and 8 beneficiaries have purchased equipment for dairy, goat and poultry farms; 1 model dairy farm is being constructed on State Land at Petit Merlo and action is underway for construction of 2 additional farms; and Construction of 1 goat multiplier farm is almost completed at Mare D’Albert and action is underway for selection of other beneficiaries.Capacity building and training of farmers In terms of training, 12,000 farmers were trained in crop and livestock production during 2010/2011.5. Food Security Strategic Plan 2013-2015The Food Security Strategic Plan 2012-2015 is being prepared as a continuation to the previousstrategic plan which has reached its termination phase in December 2011. This plan takes intoaccount all the shortcomings experienced under the previous plan and the lessons learnttherein. It also takes into consideration all challenges facing the agricultural sector and thecurrent trends observed in the agro-industry. 4
  • Input from other players in the sector has also been taken on board and validation of the AREUproposals has been sought through a stakeholders meeting which took place on 18 April 2012.Key elements that need to be considered in the elaboration of the plan were also identifiedwhile at the same time taking on board all actions to be implemented under the GovernmentProgramme 2013-2015.6. Challenges and trendsThe non-sugarcane agricultural sector in Mauritius is faced with several challenges. On thedomestic front, the non-sugarcane sector which comprises horticulture, livestock, and agro-industry faces weaknesses at production, marketing and institutional levels, which needs to beaddressed.The main challenges are:i. Access to new technologies to give a new impetus to the sector and to keep up with market exigencies;ii. High cost of key inputs mainly labour cost and high prices of feeds, logistic and agro- chemicals;iii. Inadequate mechanisation and insufficient irrigation facilities;iv. Inadequate planning of production as per market demand;v. Scarcity of raw materials for agro-industries;vi. Presence of various non-economic factors which affect predictability of production, such as pest incidence and adverse climatic conditions;vii. Inadequate investment and planning in research, intensive technologies, and capacity building;viii. Low uptake of modern management practices;ix. Gradual erosion of the resource base, that is land and labour, in favour of more remunerative sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, and services;x. Failure of farmers grouping;xi. Resistance to change and unwillingness to take risk;xii. Certification; andxiii. Scarcity of land for pastures and fodder production.The absence of a proper marketing strategy with modern market facilities is another set ofconstraints to the development of the Mauritian non-sugar agricultural sector. In the presentpractice, there has been no efficient link between the production line and the marketing 5
  • system, such that it has, up to now, not been possible to effectively plan production accordingto the market demand. As a result, the country, is often confronted to extreme situationswhereby at times there is a shortage of certain items of food crops on the local market, whilethere is overproduction at other times.At the institutional level, weaknesses, real or perceived, relate to coordination in informationdissemination, strategy with the service-orientation to farmers/agro-entrepreneurs andresponse to the needs and requirements in the agricultural supply chain.At the level of the planting community, attempts to regroup planters and farmers underassociations and cooperatives have often been unsuccessful. This has hindered the possibility ofthe planting community of benefiting from existing facilities that they could have secured as agroup (e.g. mechanisation and irrigation facilities).7. Key elements considered under the Food Security Strategic Plan 2013-2015Key elements of a Strategic Action for the non-sugar sub-sector include the following: Modernization of agricultural production and improve productivity and quality of produce; Promotion of agri-business opportunities for local and export market; Development of sustainable agricultural production strategies; Development and support of agro entrepreneurship; Support to agri-business entrepreneur; Innovation and technology transfer, capacity building and effective information and communication management; Technical and marketing advisory service to the farming community; Value chain analysis and development; Public private partnership in development projects; and Support for institutional development, research and extension.8. Broad objectives of the Food Security Fund Strategic PlanThe objective is to provide a much-needed strategic direction to stakeholders in the non-sugaragriculture. It takes account of the new environment (increasing tourist number, globalisation,and climate change among others) which warrants a fresh look and approach towards foodsecurity for the period 2013 to 2015. 6
  • Thus the specific objective of this plan is to map out strategies to enhance the role ofagriculture and in particular the non-sugarcane sector in the economy and society for: Improving standards of living of the population and the increasing demand for better quality and safer food products; Enhancing the level of self-sufficiency in a number of selected agricultural products; Revitalising the livestock sector; Developing a modern agricultural sector in tune with the sophistication taking place in other sectors of the Mauritian economy; Empowering the agricultural community economically and technically especially the younger skilled generation by giving them opportunities and appropriate support to enable them to emerge as agricultural entrepreneurs; Sharpening our competitive edge on the export front with quality and diversified products taking into account the trade liberalisation and globalisation process and cross border initiatives; Seizing all opportunities on the regional front to develop Mauritius into an agro-business hub; Promoting sustainable intensive agricultural production; Providing technical, marketing advisory services; Promoting value addition of primary farm products; and Promoting commodity chain and agribusiness development.9. Conceptual approach towards attaining Food SecurityThe aim is to create new opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs and rural families togenerate revenue in new ways while conserving the natural biodiversity and providing safesufficient and nutritious food supply.The strategic plan will address the priority food crops, vegetables, and fruits and livestockproduction along their value chain.An innovative approach is critical to address labour scarcity, high cost of production, localcompetitiveness and sustainability. Value chain development will be pursued to additionaleconomic crops and commodities.In addition to vocational training, training will offer certificate level courses to professionalisethe sector. Fair trade initiatives will be encouraged through formation of agribusiness clusters –farmer, traders, processors and banks.The Food Security Strategic Plan aims to align development partners with the governmentstrategies in the following: 7
  •  Intensification of development of sustainable production systems; Support for the professional development of producers; Promote commodity chain and agri business development; and Support for institutional development.A Value Chain Analysis (VCA) of the onion, potato and garlic production sector has beenconducted and proposals for intervention along the crop filière have been made. Strategicinterventions are at the onion seed production, mechanization to reduce cost of productionand address labour shortages, post-harvest practices to improve quality, marketing, valueaddition. Local seed production under the quality declared seed scheme will be encouraged tomeet the demands for vegetable seeds and reduce our dependence on imports.The emergence of Agri Business Clusters, grouping farmers, traders, processors, import dealers,business development service providers (banks) will be encouraged in order to undertake: Training and mentoring service to clusters; Agri business plan and feasibility studies; Protocols for value addition; Market demand production; and Contracting service.The above development model is proposed for major strategic commodities identified for ouragri food sector. This model will take care of farming as an agri business and will supportinvestment in production, post-harvest, storage, processing and marketing.10. Capacity Building, Information Dissemination and Advisory ServicesThe agricultural food sector in Mauritius needs to respond through sustainable production inthe light of the growing challenges facing the agricultural sector in order to: Meet stringent quality standards of the local and international market; Remain competitive; and Respond to changing consumer tastes.Small holder farmers and agro entrepreneurs in Mauritius require sustained advisory andtraining support so that they can take advantage of knowledge, technologies and services toremain competitive in their business. The opportunity to develop a new generation of agroentrepreneurs is more than ever a strategic choice in this context a human resource developingprogramme addressing continuous and adapted capacity building of all operators along the 8
  • value chain of the crop sector is our aim. Training facilities established regionally on modelfarms and at the Farmers Training School will be operating towards this goal in addressingfarmers, processors, workers and agro entrepreneurs.A number of innovative steps have been identified to achieve the goals namely: Support to target farmer groups by commodity, problem areas and objectives with reference to resource profile studies. Group meetings, on farm demonstrations, training and publications; Training courses focusing on increasing agricultural productivity and sustainability of the farming systems among which Good Agricultural/Husbandry Practices, post-harvest management, food safety and quality; Entrepreneurship development training courses to focus on potential agribusiness opportunities, project feasibility, sustainable production, standards and norms; Job oriented training courses to meet increasing demand for a trained and skilled workforce. Focus will be on competency development in line with the industry’s modernization and the adoption of more sophisticated technologies. It will ensure the availability of a skilled labour pool for meeting specific human resource gap. Training will target unemployed, skilling of retrenched workers and for improved employability and upgrading existing workforce. A stipend will be paid covering travel cost and opportunity cost to ensure full participation and completion of course; The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in producing and disseminating knowledge to all stakeholders from production to marketing - The use of “Open and Distance Learning” modes (ODL) is being developed (at AREU with the assistance of the Commonwealth Of Learning) to target new agro entrepreneurs in agri-business. This will help to reinforce the information gap required to boost the sector; Training needs assessment of its clients on a regular basis so that the AREU can respond better to meet their demands; Effective information dissemination and linkage between stakeholders (Research, Extension and Farmer) will be promoted with the help of ICT – AREU web site, mobile phone, SMS, alert system, Market Information Service, strategic advice. These services will enable stakeholders to interact and collaborate in more effective ways to improve agricultural productivity; Value Chain Analysis is a strategic development tool enabling identification of bottlenecks and strategies to improve the performance of the sector and improving small producers’ revenue margin in the chain. Value Chain (VC) development is about increasing the level of cooperation and integration in a sub-sector. Major VC actors (big operators and/or professional associations (e.g producer, trader) are encouraged in a stakeholders platform to take leading role as drivers of the VC upgrading process. Under the IFAD MARS programme capacity in conducting VCA has been developed at the AREU and will be used for sub sector development. The AREU will facilitate this platform ensuring active 9
  • participation of all stakeholders to address common constraints. In the first instance strategic interventions will be implemented for potato, onion, banana and garlic for which VCAs have been conducted in 2011. These will be enlarged to cover other strategic sub sectors; and The value addition to primary agricultural products through agro processing will be encouraged. This will encourage the development of agribusiness incubation capacity for agro processing will be strengthened.11. Mechanization of Agricultural PracticesCrop and livestock production is labour intensive and production can only be increased ifnecessary inputs are made available to producers. Labour, as such, is becoming a scarceresource. Mechanization of field operations for agricultural crop and livestock production is ofprime importance.Financial investment is required for mechanizing of farm activities. Participation of the privatesector and primary producers is to be encouraged.12. Creation of enabling environmentIn order to achieve the objectives and targets set under the Food security strategic plan, it isimportant that the MAIFS creates an enabling environment that is conducive to its realization.The following issues need to be provided: Rational allocation of land for agri-business clusters; Agricultural production zones and hydroponics villages; Financial incentives through loans at concessionary rates with partial grants to start up project / investments; Efficient and effective institutional support and services; Fiscal incentives, customs duty and VAT exemption on agricultural equipment; and Restructuring of marketing system and investment in modern infrastructure. 10
  • 13. Crop SectorSectoral Plan by Commodity GroupsPotatoPotato is a seasonal crop with 2 season plantations during a year. Production, as such, hasconsiderably increased from 14,868t in 2008 to 21,561t in 2011. This increase in productionhas been as a result of the potato boost up scheme that encouraged planters in engaging inpotato production. The area increased from 648ha in 2008 to 1,010ha in 2011. However, theannual consumption turns around 25,000t and 5,000t are still being imported.Potato consumption is likely to increase both in fresh and processed form. This indicates thatthere is considerable scope to increase production.To maintain and increase production, the following measures are proposed: 200ha of land would be required during the 2nd season plantation to attain an additional production of 5,000t that are being imported. Timely allocation of land is necessary; The Potato Boost up Scheme should be maintained to assist planters in purchasing seed potatoes; Financial facilities in terms of loan for purchasing of machinery for land preparation, irrigation and harvesting should be given to planters; Support to mechanical land preparation to encourage use of abandoned sugar cane lands for potato cultivation; Seed certification (local and imported) should be maintained; and Introduction and promotion of varieties with better yields due to increasing cost of production.OnionA review of the development status in this sector indicates that onion production dropped from5558t in 2008 to 5182t in 2011. The accompanying measures provided to planters in terms seedscheme, curing facilities during 2008-2011 do not reflect in the volume onions produced. Otherfactors, in particular land availability and financial support for the purchase of light machineryto mechanise onion production, constrained expansion of this sector.About 50% of the seed requirement was produced seed producers involved in QDS and MedineSugar Estate. This involved promotion of the 2 newly bred and released varieties Bellarose andFrancia. 1 short day variety, Star 5529, was recommended for commercial cultivation in 2011and 5 new short-day (2 hybrids and 3 open-pollinated) are being evaluated. 1 local breed linehas been selected for agro-processing.The potential utilisation of onion in the processing industry has to be maximized. Onion can beused in the agro-processing industry to make value-added products such as onion pickles, flakes 11
  • and powder, especially if supported by proper marketing. Onion is a seasonal crop and itsproduction can be increased by making greater use of sets for early production and use ofsuitable varieties that allow for an extension of the growing season. Onion production is labourintensive and the availability of labour is a major constraint. Mechanisation of production withlight machinery such as direct seeding machine, bed former and onion harvester should beencouraged.Proposed actionsOnion is currently being grown on about 240ha in specific localities (Belle-Mare/Palmar/Trou-d’Eau-Douce, Grand Sable/Petit Sable, Plaine Sophie/La Marie/Glen Park, and La Chaumière/LaFerme/ Bambous). To widen the scope of production, new production areas in the northernand southern part of the island have to be encouraged. An annual production target of 8,000trepresenting a self-sufficiency level of 50% can be set for 2015.To meet this target, the following measures are proposed to boost onion production: An additional acreage of 130ha of land will have to be released; A package of incentives including financial facilities (30% Grant and VAT exemption) for the purchase of machinery for land preparation, sowing and harvesting and equipment for irrigation and nursery should be given to planters; In order to promote the utilization of sets for early onion production, 1 or 2 agro entrepreneurs should be encouraged to embark on large-scale production of sets to be sold to onion planters. Incentives in terms (30% grant) for farm equipment for land preparation, irrigation and nursery and storage structure need to be provided to interested agro entrepreneurs must be provided; The Onion Booster Scheme should be maintained to encourage new entrants in onion production; Training of agro entrepreneurs must be enhanced to tap the agro processing opportunities in onion along with the promotion of the production and consumption of value added products; Incentives in terms of financial support (loan and or/30% grant) to encourage purchase of machinery for land preparation should be provided; A buffer stock of onion seeds each year (around 500kg) should be created; and Additional storage facilities should be made available for storage of onions and potatoes.PulsesA review of the production status of pulses in particular fresh bean seeds (haricot pale) showsthat production has increased from 1,175t in 2008 to 1,690t in 2011. Pulse crops like lima bean(gros pois), dry bean and soybean are well adapted to our local agro-climatic conditions andhave been grown successfully. New varieties of lima bean, and soybean were evaluated and five 12
  • dry bean varieties, locally available were evaluated. 2 varieties were selected by planters basedon their adaptability, productivity and consumers preference. In 2011, 1 pilot production unitwas set up on-farm at Montagne-Longue with variety Long Tom.Pulses can be grown for fresh and dry seeds. However, the production of fresh mature/ripeseeds is more profitable as it fetches better market price, consumer preference andacceptability. Furthermore, there is also scope for value-added products such as minimalprocessing and frozen beans. Being a leguminous crop, it helps improving soil fertility. Pulseshave good potential as an import substitution crop since most of the local requirement isimported.Proposed actionsA target for an additional annual production of 200t of pulses (mature green seeds) can be setby 2015. To meet this target, the following measures are proposed. 25ha of land must be released for pulse cultivation. Timely release of land will enable planters to embark on large-scale pulse production; Adequate seed supply for large scale pulse production should be ensured by giving incentives for the production of quality seeds (QDS) for the local market with respect to processing, storage of seeds and pricing mechanism. The production of seeds on 4ha through the QDS Scheme will be undertaken with support measures (starter kit). This measure will support on farm production over the period 2013-2015 to reach 25ha. Each year, 5ha of new pulse plantation will be supported; and Partnership between sugar estates, small farmers, AMB and private dealers should be developed to market the produce.GarlicGarlic is a major condiment used in Mauritius after onion. Our annual garlic consumption forthe year 2010 was around 1800t of which local production accounted for 24t produced onsome 3.5ha (CSO, 2010), representing a self-sufficiency of around 1.3%. In order to satisfy thelocal market, around 1794t for a value of about MUR 94M of garlic was imported mainly fromChina in 2010. Over the last three decades the average annual local production has decreasedby 88% from 199t during the 1980s’ to 24t in 2010 and the area under production from 28 to3.5ha. There was also a slight reduction in garlic productivity over the years from 8.9 t/ha in the1990s’ to 6.8t/ha in 2010.The major reason for the decrease in the area under garlic was the lack of interest of localplanters for growing garlic as cheap and high quality (especially with big cloves) garlic importedfrom China were available on the market. In 2011, there were new planters in production ofgarlic. With the unavailability of planting materials the Government launched a “Garlic SeedPurchase Scheme” through which a package of incentives given under the Food Security Fund.In 2012, planters were being encouraged to produce quality garlic planting materials and samewill be purchased by AMB at a guaranteed price. 13
  • Garlic has a good potential as an import substitution crop since most of the local requirement isimported. The commodity has both culinary and medicinal uses and can be processed to makevalue-added products such as garlic pickles, flakes, pastes and powder. Increasing consumerawareness with suitable marketing strategies can enhance the demand for processed garlic.Proposed actionsA production target of 200t of garlic (representing around 10% self-sufficiency) by 2015 is beingset. The following measures are proposed: An additional 25ha of land is targeted to be under garlic cultivation to attain an annual production of 200t by 2015. New areas for garlic cultivation in the central districts are targeted; The Garlic Seed Purchase Scheme should be maintained as prerequisite to increase the availability of planting material in the years to come; Incentives (starter kit) will be provided as a support measure to encourage production of garlic planting material. Each year, 1ha under garlic planting material will be encouraged; and A package of incentives for mechanization including financial facilities (30% Grant and VAT exemption) for the purchase of machinery for land preparation, sowing and harvesting and equipment for irrigation and nursery should be given to planters.MushroomThe current local production of mushroom is estimated at 50t annually comprising mainly 1strain namely the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus), and a limited amount of Shiitake. About28,134t of mushrooms (fresh/chilled, dried, preserved or canned of around MRU 121M (CIFValue) were imported in 2010 to meet the local demand. With the expansion of the touristindustry and increase in consumer preference, the demand for mushroom is likely to increase inyears to come. Mushroom production must be expanded and diversified. Mushrooms arecommonly cultivated on agro wastes and can contribute to environment friendly in terms ofagricultural waste recycling.Proposed actionsNew mushroom strains will be introduced to widen the range of mushrooms strains that can beexploited commercially. Private promoters must be encouraged to produce spawn (plantingmaterial) and fruiting bag so as to broaden the scope of local mushroom production. Thefollowing actions are proposed: Financial support in terms of loan/grant for the purchase of equipment (pasteurizer, autoclave and solar operated air-conditioning system) for production of fruiting bags and fruits; Setting up of a model button mushroom growing house for demonstration to entrepreneurs; and 14
  •  Transfer of identified appropriate button mushroom cultivation technology to entrepreneurs.MaizeMaize production has declined from 459t in 2008 to 320t in 2011. On the other hand, theannual consumption of dry shelled maize is estimated to be around 100,000t. Production hasalmost been abandoned because imported maize is less expensive that the local produce.Production of maize is feasible as there is a market demand for green cobs, baby corns andshelled maize for animal feed. A production of 7,500t of green maize by 2015 representing 10%of imports is initially proposed.To achieve this target the following requirements should be met: 600ha of land are required to produce the 7,500t up to 2015. It is proposed to set up initially 45ha of land under maize cultivation in 2013; Financial support to growers in terms of loan/grant should be provided for purchase of machinery for land preparation/irrigation/processing and drying and storage; Financial support to growers for purchase of seeds; and Incentives to utilise abandoned cane lands for maize production/land preparation/access to field/generated price for shelled maize.Fruit SectorOrchard developmentProduction of fruits other than pineapple, banana and litchi is either confined to backyard or onland not suitable for sugar cane. This explains the scarcity of local fruits on the local market andeven their quality is often poor due to mishandling and absence of norms. Farmers with limitedland will not engage in production of fruits because it is not economically viable. Fruit species,especially perennial ones require space which small producers cannot afford and have a longpayback period that is beyond their financial means. Sustainable fruit production at the nationallevel is envisaged by setting up of model orchards.Proposed actionsFruit production should be managed in a professional way with modern technologies.Furthermore the minimum area which should be put under each specific species to render theenterprise economically viable has to be worked out under the local context with all prevailingconstraints such as cyclones, anticyclones, periodical droughts, incidence of pests and diseases,and market requirements. The working out of viable packages for potential business enterprisesis possible provided experimental fruit plots are set up and demonstrations carried out toenable rapid adoption by interested parties. 15
  • Hence, it is important to establish model fruit orchards in the different agro-climatic zones inMauritius. The model plots will showcase the opportunities around fruit production andmarketing.The objectives are to:a. Promote state of the art technology for each fruit species according to the agro-climatic zone and topography;b. Demonstrate the different combinations of fruit species with other crops in order to mitigate the effects of climate change;c. Promote production of quality fruits locally to reduce dependency on imported fruits; andd. Promote production of low-input underutilized/unexploited fruit species for health promotion and income generation.Proposed actions Establish 5 model orchards (5 ha each) in 5 different regions. Each orchard will be established with fruit species such as mango, ate, atemoya, jackfruit, breadfruit, avocado, pamplemousses, unexploited species such as corrosol, bilimbi, carambole, jaboticaba, jambelon, jamrosat, jamalac, guava, local peach, bibasse, mabolo, fig, amla, roussaille, tamarind, lucuma, chiku; and Provide facilities to fruit producers in land preparation, supply of quality planting materials; and Establish 5 postharvest facilities (1 in each of the 5 regions).Production of raw materials for the agro-processing sectorProcessing tomato4 varieties of tomato were suitable for agro-processing into value added products such astomato ketchup, puree and whole peeled tomato in cans. 3 of them (AB2, AB3 and AB4606)were the best performing ones. A sensory evaluation was carried out for the fresh tomatovarieties and variety AB8058 was the best performing ones followed by AB4606, AB3 and AB2.However, the 4 varieties were found susceptible to major pests and diseases. The differentvarieties were characterized for their suitability of tomatoes for processing.Cassava15 cassava varieties were found suitable for flour making that can be used in pure form fornoodle and cake and mixed with 25 to 50% wheat flour for western and Asian bread. The localsweet potato variety has produced highly acceptable flour. When mixed with wheat flour in theproportion of 25 to 50%, western and Asian bread and pastries have been produced. 16
  • Bread fruit3 distinct Bread fruit cultivars (BES, Osman and Chin) have been identified with differentmorphological and postharvest characteristics. They were propagated and established in agermplasm block at Pamplemousses ES for evaluation and multiplication. 2 new techniques (airlayering and grafting) have been found to be successful. Planting materials derived from thetraditional and new propagation techniques have been established at Pamplemousses ES tocompare their performance. By January 2012, 160 breadfruit plants, produced fromexperimental materials have been put at the disposal of growers. It was also demonstrated thattrees can be rejuvenated and maintained at a manageable height by pruning and post pruningcare. 2 clones have been found suitable for flour making and 1 protocol has been developedfor the production of breadfruit flour. Blends with wheat flour have been prepared and recipesdeveloped for Western and Indian bread and pastry. Protocols for minimally processedbreadfruit and breadfruit Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) fries and cubes have been developed topresent the fruit in a convenient form for consumption.BananaThe variety, Banane Carrée, has been found most suitable for mixed with wheat flour in theproportion of 30 to 50%, western and asian bread and pastries can be produced.To promote the agro processing sector, the following measures are proposed: Provision of financial support in terms of loan/ grant to entrepreneurs for the purchase of equipment/packaging in the setting up of agro-processing units; Support for the marketing processed products; and Adoption of new technologies and processing techniques will be encouraged through demonstration on model farms and at farm level.Research and Development ProgrammeThe R&D programme aims at improving food crop production in a sustainable manner throughdevelopment of cost effective production methods. The measures proposed hereunder concernintroduction/evaluation of planting material, good agronomic practices, post-harvestmanagement and agro-processing will be implemented during 2013-2015.Proposed actionsPotato Increase efficiency of seed potato production and assure availability of seeds for plantation; Pursue breeding programme to develop new varieties; Develop integrated packages for pest and disease control; 17
  •  Technical support to assist growers during production period; and Introduce and promote varieties with better yields due to increasing cost of production.Onion Evaluation of new short day onion varieties will be pursued; Large-scale on-farm trials with promising varieties will be conducted. With a view of extending the onion production season, 2 intermediate onion varieties will be tested on- station for late production under our agro-climatic conditions. Large scale on-farm trial will also be conducted; Onion breeding activities will be continued; Mother bulbs and seeds of Bellarose and Francia varieties will be produced to promote these varieties; and New crosses will be made in order to develop more novel varieties. Selection and evaluation of breeding lines will be continued.Pulses Further evaluation of promising varieties. 2 on-farm trials and evaluation on model farms will be conducted to promote lima bean production; Setting up of a pilot production unit with varieties selected by planters. Seed multiplication of varieties adopted by planters for large scale production will be conducted; 6 varieties will be further evaluated on station and in planters’ fields; Depending on growers and consumers’ acceptability and preference, selected varieties will be used in seed multiplication programme for pilot production unit and large scale production in 2013 and 2014; Evaluation of 3 selected dry bean varieties and multiplied on-station. Evaluation of the same 3 selected locally available varieties will continue under planters’ conditions to raise their interest; Multiplication and evaluation of varieties introduced from CIAT on-station as from 2012. Promising varieties identified will be tested on-farm; and Setting up of a pilot production unit with the promising variety Red Kidney on 1 arpent.Garlic Collection of planting materials from existing garlic planters and evaluation in different localities. By the end of 2013, the important garlic varieties grown can be characterised and preliminary results on their yield potential over the island be made available; 18
  •  Traceability of garlic planting materials used by planters in terms of source, variety and quality; and Development of drip irrigation and fertigation in garlic cultivation. Water stress during the growing periods and inefficient fertiliser use efficiency can be the reason for sub-optimal garlic production. Such systems can improve the productivity of garlic per unit area as well as the quality of garlic.Tomato Introduction/evaluation of new processing varieties; Large scale on-farm demonstration to assess appreciation of planters for these varieties; Upgrading of agro processing unit with equipment for training and incubator service; and Support for development of marketing of processed products.Mushroom Introduction/evaluation of new mushroom strains; Development of appropriate cultivation package for local cultivation; Setting up of 1 model button mushroom growing house for demonstration to entrepreneurs; and Identification of appropriate button mushroom cultivation technology to entrepreneurs.Maize Introduction/evaluation of new varieties; Large scale on-farm trials of promising varieties; Setting up of a pilot production unit; Facility to planters for soil analysis; and Technical support to growers on GAP.Fruit- Development of Pamplemousses Experiment StationThe Pamplemousses Experiment Station was set up to demonstrate the state of art technologyto agricultural entrepreneurs, along the whole value chain in fruit production, showcasesustainability in fruit production in line with MID (Maurice Ile Durable) and empower low-income groups, unemployed women and farmers on opportunities in good nursery practicesand optimum orchard management through hands-on experience and promote production oflow-input underutilized/unexploited fruit species. 19
  • The existing litchi and longane orchards on about 6 acres of land were rehabilitated. Plots ofpapaya, passionfruit, breadfruit, breadnut, jackfruit, avocado, atemoya, ate, corrosol, coeur deboeuf, pomegranate, grapes, new pineapple varieties, starfruit, cashewnut, mabolo, jaboticabawere established. A nursery was also set up for propagation and sale of fruit species and fortraining of farmers and entrepreneurs.It is proposed to reinforce the established Pamplemousses Experiment Station as follows: Increase the diversity of fruits to reach up to 30 species on the station in order to evaluate their potential in an agroforestry perspective; Implement irrigation network and water management for the different species; Consolidate the nursery facilities; and Set up a postharvest facility to train growers on the advantages of good postharvest handling practices.Agro-processing Identification of local horticultural commodities for flour production; Upgrading of protocols for flour production from breadfruit, green banana, cassava and sweet potato; Development of recipes / formulations for biscuit, bread, “puri”, “roti / chapati”, cakes and other pastries from composite flour in collaboration with “Chefs”; Determination of the rheological properties of the flour; Sensory evaluation (consumer level) of different products from the local flour; Production of bread (pain maison and baguette) at level of commercial bakery; Suitability of local flour for noodles, macaroni in collaboration with specialist enterprises; Determination of nutritive value of local flour; Determination of cost of production of accepted local flour; Determination of the nutritional value of health drinks from local vegetables and fruits; Production of juice from local fruits and vegetables based on formulations already developed; Nutritional value assessment of formulations; Sensory evaluation among school children; Nutritional value of breadfruit fries; Production of breadfruit fries and potato fries at lab level; Nutritional and physico-chemical tests of breadfruit fries and potato fries at lab level; and 20
  •  Nutritional and physico-chemical tests of breadfruit fries and selected frozen commercial potato fries.Sustainable AgricultureResearch activities have been focused mainly on development of sustainable agriculturalpractices based on resource conservation technologies and best management practices tooptimise use of natural resources (land, water, organic matter), crop varieties, livestock breeds,improve or sustain crop productivity while protecting the natural environment to enhancefarmers’ livelihood, meet climate challenge and food insecurity.Training/assistance offered to farmers Quality seed production of onion var Bellarose and Francia, cucumber var. local white, squash var. golden custard, bean var. Longtom, cauliflower var. local; Use of Family Drip Gravity-fed Irrigation System/Fertigation Technology for combining fertiliser application with irrigation, optimize water and fertiliser use and suppress weed and foliar diseases and improve crop yield and quality of potato and onion; Soil conservation, fertility management and sustainable land management to improve soil fertility, enhance soil conservation, prevent nutrient depletion and land degradation; Good agricultural practices and animal husbandry practices (Integrated crop management, use of tolerant crop varieties, protective seed treatment, timing of crop cultivation, pesticide application, integrated pest and disease management, soil, water and nutrient management, nutrient recycling /composting, crop rotation , use of crop cover, green manuring, mulch); Composting techniques and bio-digestors for livestock waste management ; use of bio- products in crop production; Pest and disease surveillance for better control of pests and diseases in food crop and livestock production; and Promotion of biological control of key pests on strategic crops.Proposed actionsThe following are proposed to develop an integrated crop and livestock management system toensure food security: Loan and grant for the purchase of irrigation/fertigation equipment; Rain Water Harvesting Scheme to be promoted; Capacity building to promote global gap and fair trade initiatives; 21
  •  Assist agro-entrepreneurs in commercialisation of bio-control agents (parasitoids and predators) for pest control; and Scheme for setting up of bio-digestors for treatment of livestock waste.Crop ProtectionThe following research and development activities are proposed:Integrated Crop Management Pursue studies on soil and water conservation; Investigate into integrated plant nutrients in cropping; Test and promote new and efficient irrigation system; Promote the use of enriched compost in food crop production system; Promote bio-fertilisers as alternatives to chemical fertilizers; Develop packages for organic farming; and Reinforce local seed production.Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) Maintain a pest and disease surveillance; Provide a decentralized rapid and disease diagnosis service; Develop IPDM packages for key pests and diseases for strategic crops; Promote bio-pesticides and IPM compatible products for pest and disease control; and Promote biological control agents (predators and parasitoids) in pest management. 22
  • 14. Enhancement of support services and sectorsLocal seed productionThe annual national seed requirement is estimated around 16t (excluding bean, and potatoseeds). The Agricultural Services play a key role in production and supply seeds of vegetablecrops, grafts layers of fruit trees. In 2011, about 1,154t of seeds of more than 20 vegetablecrops were produced. Under the Quality Declared Seeds (QDS) Scheme, about 1,100kg ofseeds (Cucurbits (700kg); bean (300kg); onion (139kg) and cauliflower (5kg) in a joint venturewith Agricultural Servicers/ Planters/AREU.Supply of planting materialsTissue-culture plantlets of fruits trees and ornamentals are produced and put on sale by theAgricultural Services and Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC). Over the last 3 years,FARC supplied 50,000 potted hardened tissue culture banana plants were supplied to growersand plans to produce 55,000 potted hardened plants for growers in forthcoming 4 years.Analytical support servicesAnalytical and technical support is provided to planters, cowkeepers and small and mediumentrepreneurs by the national Food Technology Laboratory (FTL) during the last 3 years. 6,576samples (chemical test for milk and dairy products (1213); microbiological test for milk anddairy products (1,615) and microbiological tests (3,748) were tested by NFL. NFL plans toincrease the number of tests in food.Irrigation sectorThe Government of Mauritius has invested around one billion rupees in the development ofirrigation schemes over the past 30 years for boosting sugar cane production in irrigated areaslike the Northern plains and promoting intensive food crop production at Belle Mare, Plaisance,Palma and Rivière du Rempart. Over the years, irrigation has enabled growers to diversify fromsugar cane.StatusSome 20,000ha (out of the total irrigable area of 28,000ha of land) are being irrigated of which1,739ha are under vegetable and fruit cultivation. The total area falling under the jurisdiction of 23
  • the Irrigation Authority (AI) is 4,000ha, occupied by 4,800 small planters. Around 20% of thearea (800ha) is under food crop cultivation and some 10% (400ha) are abandoned.Over the past 3 years, the irrigated area has remained unchanged. However, more sugar caneland is being converted for food crop cultivation. Overhead Drip Surface Total North 5,789 1,138 525 7,452 South 4,055 507 0 4,562 East 2,939 244 0 3,183 West 3,632 244 364 4,240 Centre 449 0 0 449 Total 16,864 2,132 889 19,885 Total area under irrigation system 19,885TargetThe presence of abandoned lands within irrigation projects is a major limiting factor to theoptimum use of irrigation systems. Abandoned lands cause wastage of water especially underCentre-pivot irrigation schemes and thus, a loss of earning for the IA. The objectives of IA areto encourage farmers to diversify to high income crops and increase their profitability andreduce the 40% of abandoned lands within irrigation projects. Rehabilitation of theseabandoned lands offers the scope for production of vegetable and fruit crops.Proposed actionsThe following measures are proposed: Rehabilitation and consolidation of existing irrigation networks and schemes for a more judicious and efficient use of available water resources; Development of new small scale irrigation schemes in areas where main pipe networks have already been laid (A5 pipeline for blocks 4, 5, 6 and 7); Introduction of modern concepts and adoption of appropriate technologies towards the design, operation and maintenance of different types of irrigation systems; and Use of recycled wastewater for irrigation purposes as due to the increasing pressure on fresh water resources, irrigation will have no alternative than to turn towards alternative water sources.These would be achieved through provision of: Land preparation facilities, above ground irrigation equipment, planting materials, administrative backup, etc for small planters located within irrigation projects; 24
  •  Funds for conversion of irrigation systems originally meant for sugar cane (low frequency, high precipitation) to systems adaptable to vegetables and food crops (high frequency, low precipitation), food crop production can be increased considerably; and Facilities for rehabilitation of new small scale irrigation projects.Irrigation projects Palma Small Scale Irrigation ProjectThis project is jointly being managed by the IA and Palma Water Users Cooperative Society(WUCS) which groups all planters of the project area. The WUCS is actually cultivating some12ha of potato and 15ha of onion. Over time, the 3 pumps serving the project have grown oldand are subject to frequent breakdown, thereby disrupting the normal operation of the project.There is much scope for increasing production of these 2 crops by provision of funds for:- Purchase of 2 new pumps for borehole 436 to replace the actual one that belongs to the Central Water Authority and the 2nd one as spare for use in case of breakdown of any pump; and- Purchase of hydrants, air valves, Pressure Regulating / reducing valves, gate valves to replace existing ones.This investment will increase production but also enable the Palma WUCS to bring undercultivation some 15ha of abandoned land. Cressonville Small Scale Irrigation ProjectThe Cressonville project is one of the major suppliers of fresh vegetables to the Quatre-Bornesvegetable market. Some 500 to 700t of fresh vegetables are produced from the Cressonvilleproject every year. The Cressonville Small Scale Irrigation Project was put into operation in 1996by IA and is actually managed by the Cressonville Agricultural Marketing cooperative Society(AMCS) Ltd., using water pumped from a nearby borehole belonging to IA.Due to wear and tear, most of the infield irrigation equipment issued to farmers has nowbecome unusable. The equipment was not replaced due to limited financial resources.Planters have also requested that a micro-sprinkler irrigation method be implemented insteadof the original medium pressure sprinkler system. The micro-sprinkler system would better suittheir cropping system, as they are producing more of tender leafy vegetable and salad crops.It is proposed to:- Set up a micro-sprinkler irrigation system for the Cressonville project. 25
  •  Plaisance (N) Small Scale Irrigation ProjectThe project is on state land situated in the north of Plaisance Airport and was implementedduring 1982. Irrigation facility is provided to 130 vegetable planters on an area of 132 arp andalso to some 24 arp belonging to Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security. The 132 plantershave regrouped under the Plaisance (N) Water Users Multipurpose Coop. Sty which isresponsible for the day to day running of the project. Production of vegetables from thePlaisance SSIP is around 2500-3500t per year. The infield irrigation equipment has sufferedfrom wear and tear and need to be renewed for the whole project. It is proposed to:- Replace infield light galvanized pipes of 6m length together with hoses and sprinkler tripods over an area of 150 arps. Belle Mare and Trou Deau Douce (TDD) Irrigation ProjectThe Belle Mare Small Scale Irrigation project is situated along the Coastal Road of Belle Mareand Palmar and is implemented on state lands vested by the Ministry of Agro-Industry FoodProduction and Security to IA. The Sandy area is used for onion cultivation from April toSeptember and from October to March other food crops such as eggplant, chillies and tomatoesare cultivated. The advent of Irrigation has enabled planters to practice 2 onion harvestsinstead of 1 as was done in the past. With time, the above ground irrigation equipment hassuffered from wear and tear.It is proposed to:- Renew the above ground pipes as a considerable amount of water is lost through leakages in aboveground light galvanized pipes.The TDD project area covers an extent of 35 arpents and is managed by the Trou Deau DouceCooperative Society. The land belongs to the Government of Mauritius and is being leased tosmall planters. The 30 arpents of land is used to cultivate 2 to 3 crop cycles every year. Onion isthe main crop grown. Over time, the irrigation equipment has suffered from extensive wearand tear and spare parts are difficult to obtain on the market.It is proposed to: Renew the infield equipment and hydrant units; and Construct 2 chamber and one control room for the borehole. 26
  •  Rouge Terre Irrigation Project (50 Arpents)The Rouge Terre Irrigation Project (Block III of NPIP- Phase II) was implemented in 2004 with aCentre-Pivot and solid set irrigation systems. An area of 50 arpents, located at Rouge Terrewithin the boundaries of Block 3 Irrigation Project has been earmarked for a diversificationproject. The existing irrigation system covering these 50 arpents is the solid set system (highpressure sprinkler) which has been designed to irrigate sugar cane.It is proposed to: Implement a new infield irrigation system appropriate for irrigating foodcrops for these 50 arpents. Arsenal Litchi ProjectThe Arsenal litchi project was implemented in 1990 to irrigate newly planted litchi plants overan area of 11ha and to enable irrigation of foodcrops and vegetables within the area betweenlitchi trees planted at 9m x 9m spacing till the time the litchi trees would reach flowering stage(i.e after 4 to 5 years from start of project). After almost 25 years of existence, these trees havereached full canopy thereby making it meaningless to continue cultivation of foodcrops andirrigation of interlines. At the same time, the existing irrigation system is no longer compatibleas individual trees in the litchi orchard need localized irrigation. Hence, the irrigation system forthe whole project area has to be renewed.It is proposed to: Set up a micro-sprinkler irrigation system to enable localized irrigation of trees with efficient use of water. The new system of irrigation will also necessitate a new pump with different specifications.Planting MaterialsThere is increasing pressure toward meeting the requirement for better quality plantingmaterials due to marked increase in the demand for food crops and fruits. The adequate andtimely availability of quality seeds and planting materials is a pre-requisite for achieving the settargets of food security programmes.The following measures are proposed: Maintain support the QDS project and extend its scope to widen the range of food crops; Increase seed production by 5% annually i.e from 4,000kg to 5,500kg; Increase production of fruit tree plantlet from 38,500 to 45,000 units; Facilitate introduction of elite and disease free germplasm for diversification of food production; and 27
  •  Ensure production and provision of disease free planting materials of crops for the benefit of planters. Support key organizations and private sectors to ensure availability of sufficient planting materials for strategic crops for substitution of our staples such as, potatoes, maize, cassava, sweet potato, bread fruit, eddoes and promotion of local food crop fruit production.15. Cross border initiativeFood Security has become one of the biggest global challenges of the 21 st century. Whilstalmost no country is spared, the challenge of food security is particularly daunting fordeveloping nations such as Mauritius which are net importers of food commodities.Government aims at enhancing production and competitiveness of the agri-business sector inMauritius. In this respect, the objective is to improve global competitiveness and profitability ofthe agri-business sector in order to reduce the country’s dependency on food imports. Securingfood supply for its population is now a high priority for Government. While food production isto be encouraged in Mauritius, cooperation in this field is also being sought with countries inthe region namely Mozambique, in the first instance.The Government of Mozambique has agreed to lease to the Government of Mauritius plots ofland situated in the Provinces of Maputo and Manica subject to the Government of Mauritiuscoming up with viable and sustainable projects related to the land. The exact extent of the landcan only be determined after submission of the project to Mozambique authorities.For this purpose, the Regional Development Co Ltd (RDC) has been incorporated in December2009 as a private company, with the Government of Mauritius as sole shareholder. Its objectsinclude the promotion of regional food security and other regional development projects.The RDC hopes to replicate the proposed Mauritius-Mozambique model in other Africancountries such as Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. To further promote investment in Africa andassist investors, it is envisaged to set up a Regional Development Partners Company (RDPC)with the following objectives:a. Assist in project preparation and risk mitigation; andb. Reduce barriers to entry and investment/implementation risks, especially political and policy risks with an immediate priority for Food Security projects.The RDPC will be a limited company and shall have as shareholders African states, DevelopmentPartners, Project Promoters and other stakeholders. It is expected to provide assistance toproject promoters on an optional basis, either through payment of a service fee or throughcross-shareholding with the entity. The assistance provided will relate exclusively to non- 28
  • commercial risks associated with projects and with issues relating to raising finance at themargins and building public infrastructure required.The proposal for the RDPC was discussed at a meeting held in Mauritius mid-December 2010with participants from Mozambique, Zambia and Seychelles present, as well as the interestedbidders. Funding institutions like the European Union and IFAD were also present.16. Livestock SectorStrategic plan 2008-2011 – Achievement and lessons learnedThe Food Security Fund Strategic Plan 2008-2011 (FSFSP) recommended several measures toincrease milk and meat production. However, to solve the major problems that represented aserious impediment to the smooth running of the activities concerned, the FSFSP alsorecommended that the following actions be implemented concurrently:i. Upgrading and reorganization of the Veterinary Services;ii. Conduct of a national livestock census;iii. Conduct of a national census of all poultry abattoirs (legal and illegal);iv. Setting up of a Meat and Milk Advisory Board; andv. Re-organisation of the illegal slaughter squad of the Mauritius Meat Authority.The achievement of the above mentioned measures was a pre requisite for the success of theFood Security initiative. However, only the livestock census was carried out. It is therefore,crucial that further support be provided to ensure their implementation.Livestock CensusThe purpose of undertaking a livestock census was to have more precise information on thecurrent situation regarding livestock population and production following tagging andregistration of animals so as to better monitor movement of animals and control slaughteringof animals. However, since the animals are in most cases untagged and there is a lack of properrecording system on the majority of the farms, information collected may not be accurate.The implementation of Agricultural Production Market Information System (APMIS) for thelivestock sector is expected to address this issue provided required resources are madeavailable. 29
  • Milk ProductionStatusThe government proposed two major actions namely setting up of “village laitier” in 2005 andlaunching of incentive schemes (FSFSP 2008-2011) to revitalise and modernise the dairy sector.This led to the setting up of two large scale production units on State Land at Salazie and Le Valusing Foreign Direct Investment. As a result, the decreasing trend in milk production prior to2005 was stopped and milk production increased from 3.2M litres in 2005 to an estimatedproduction of 5.9M litres in 2011.However, for economic reasons, the government also came up with some measures which arebelieved to have had a detrimental effect on dairy farming by small scale farmers.These measures are:i. Closure of the Livestock Production Unit at Palmar;ii. Stopping of the pilot milk marketing scheme operated by the AMB and lately; andiii. Closure of the Government Livestock Feed Factory.The FSFSP 2008-2011 proposed setting up of 3 model dairy farms and financial schemes (loanfor construction/Renovation of farm buildings, loan and grant for purchase of improvedbreeding animals, loan for purchase of equipment and grant for establishment offodder/pasture) to modernize the dairy sector and facilitate access to inputs are beingimplemented. However, progress is rather slow due to unforeseen bottlenecks which arehampering further development in the dairy sector.As at to-date 9 farm buildings have been/are being constructed out of 12 that have beenapproved by the FSF Evaluation Committee (FSFEC). Only 180 breeding animals have beenpurchased by 7 applicants out of a total of 540 approved by the FSFEC. Out of 12 applicationsapproved by FSFEC, 2 have materialised for purchasing equipment. About 156 arpents offodder/pasture have been planted of which almost 50% are devoted to dairy farming.Major constraints encountered with respect to implementation of the above schemes are: Schemes are not meant for individual farmers/entrepreneurs, hence only groups of farmers (cooperatives/corporate) can benefit from the scheme; Lack of coordination between the FSF implementation unit and implementing institution; Banking procedures for fund disbursement following approval by FSFEC are lengthy and loan eligibility criteria set by banks could not be met; The operation of the schemes by two different banks has resulted in administrative constraints (pari pasu) regarding security thus hindering disbursement of fund; 30
  •  Importation of breeding animals requires professional expertise and thorough knowledge on import procedures. Farmers benefiting the scheme are not conversant with these procedures and steps; and Government has acted as facilitator by regrouping beneficiaries and assists them to identify local agents to import on their behalf. However, major difficulties were encountered during the process and finally the performance of animal purchased was not to expectations.Other constraints affecting dairy farming are: Inappropriate feeding practices; Poor animal health and high mortality rate; Poor animal husbandry practices; and Slaughter of breeding females.Setting up of Model Dairy FarmsDue to budgetary constraints the mode of implementation had to be revised in terms of scaleof operation (downsizing from 100 to 30 cows) and administrative procedures. Thebeneficiaries were responsible for the construction of the farm building in a cost sharing projectwhereby they were to contribute 30% of the project cost.One dairy farm is being constructed at Petit Merlo and action has been initiated forconstruction of two additional farms, one at Mare D’Albert and one at Nouvelle Découverte. Itis to be noted that administrative exigencies related to fund disbursement in accordance withproper procurement procedures are impediments that delay project implementation.TargetThe target to reach 10% of total consumption by 2015 is still a realistic production targetprovided that problems related to importation of locally adapted improved breeds are solvedas well as availability of quality feeds at affordable price, provision of adequate veterinary andinsemination service and market structure.The following measures are proposed to boost up milk production: Setting up of community base dairy farm units of 10 cows each in zone specifically identified for dairy farming under the 1,000 arpents schemes. Each zone to be provided with all necessary infrastructure, amenities and common facilities for fodder production, milk collection, storage and processing and waste management; Review of all existing FSF schemes to make it more accessible to individuals having all necessary operating clearances. Presently the scheme for purchase of improved breeding animals is meant for group of farmers and those with a turnover not exceeding Rs10M. It is 31
  • proposed that the scheme be extended to any farmer/new entrant possessing clearances for dairy farming activities and to corporate sector under specific conditions; Provision of a new loan scheme for purchase of small equipment such as brush cutters, chippers, milking cans, milking machine, high pressure cleaner, automatic drinkers, brooders, pumps, septic tanks, water tanks and others (up to Rs100,000 at 5% interest for 5 years with a moratorium period of 1 year); Setting up of a revolving fund to enable Mauritius Cooperative Agricultural Federation (MCAF) and other feed distributors to provide facilities for purchase of concentrate feed formulated by AREU and manufactured by private feed manufacturers; Setting up of a productivity cash scheme for farmers producing weaned calf and an inseminated heifer. The scheme will consist of a cash grant of Rs1,000/weaned calf and Rs2,000/heifer at first insemination; Setting up of an insurance scheme to compensate for loss of dairy animals; Provision of a grant scheme (up to Rs1M) to group of farmers for setting up milk processing units; Capacity building of farmers in production of dairy products and management of milk processing unit; Introduction of a levy of (10 cents/kg import) on imports of milk and dairy products to fund above schemes; Policy decision to ban slaughter of productive breeding females; and Setting up of a heifer farm and importation of a consignment of young heifers by the government or as a PPP project.Meat ProductionMeat production comprises mainly beef, pig-meat, goat meat, venison, sheep and poultry. Localmeat production satisfies 9% of the total requirement of livestock products (excluding poultryand poultry products). During 2008-2011 the sector witnessed significant increase in beef andpig meat. The goat sector is also starting to pick up whilst venison production is stagnating ataround 450 tonnes. Although sheep population has almost doubled since 2005, this is notreflected in slaughter statistics.Given the constraints facing the sector and the limited capacity of the country to sustainintensive livestock farming it would be reasonable to target a production of around 2,300t andrepresenting 15% of our requirements by 2015. 32
  • BeefThe FSF launched a scheme for importation of weaners in 2010. Three applications for 150weaners were approved by FSFEC but none of the beneficiaries succeeded to import weaners.The scheme failed due to administrative procedures and logistics for importation of animals asa result of difficulties encountered to access livestock carrier. The scheme was not extendedafter 2010. Provision was also made in the strategic plan to set up 2 pilot beef farms. Howeverno provision was made in the budget for its implementation.Nevertheless slaughter statistics showed a four folds increase in beef production (27.2t to136t).The supply of live fattened beef animals is not secured as it depends on external market andavailability of livestock carrier, which is very restrictive, as well as sanitary barriers. In addition,the demand and the price keep increasing. The need to increase the local production is highlyjustified and new incentives need to be introduced. Beef fattening requires high investmentand expertise to deal with import procedures and logistics.TargetConsidering the limited land for beef fattening it is proposed to target a production of 500trepresenting a self-sufficiency of around 8% by 2015.The following measures are proposed to increase beef production: Setting up of a scheme for import of beef type breeding animals with the objective of developing the beef sector and for provision of beef type animals. The scheme will comprise of a grant Rs30,000 and a loan of Rs50,000/breeding animal with a moratorium of one year and 5 years for repayment; Loan scheme for purchase of feed at 3% interest rate up to a maximum of Rs100,000 with a repayment period of one year; Introduction of a levy (10 cents/kg beef meat and meat products imported) on import of meat to subsidise slaughter fee so as to discourage illegal slaughter; and Provision of loan scheme at 5% interest for the setting up of feedlots for beef fattening to be operated as a PPP project. 33
  • Goat/SheepSlaughter statistics showed 140% increase in goat production from 18.7t in 2008 to 45t in 2011.However, slaughter statistics for sheep did not reflect the increase in population indicatinghigher rate of illegal slaughter. Slaughter of local goat/sheep is mostly associated withfestivities (wedding and end of year). In most cases, animals are home slaughtered indicatingthat local meat production is much higher than figures from slaughter statistics.Applications were approved for construction of goat shed, importation of breeding animals andcultivation of fodder for goat rearing. However, only one beneficiary imported 50 goats fromRodrigues under the Food Security Fund Scheme although 5 applications for 175 goats of wereapproved. Difficulties encountered for importation of breeding goats were similar to those forcattle.Regarding the setting up of 3 multiplier goat farms as recommended in the FSFSP, the mode ofimplementation of the project had been revised following constraints encountered with respectto land available under the 1,000 arpents scheme and selection of beneficiaries. The system ofproduction would be confined instead of paddocks (cut and carry instead of grazing) and co-funding, whereby beneficiaries were responsible for construction of the farm building and wererequested to contribute 30% of the construction costs.In the FSFSP it was proposed “to review the role of the illegal Slaughter Squad falling under theaegis of the Mauritius Meat Authority and to provide it with the required tools to drasticallybring down illegal slaughter”.Unfortunately, no action has been initiated for its implementation. The FSFSP also mentionedmeasures to increase goat production and which comprise the setting up of three goatmultiplier farms and the implementation of schemes for construction of goat shed, importationof improved breeding stock, and establishment of fodder/pasture and purchase of equipment.Construction of one goat multiplier farm is almost completed at Mare D’Albert and constructionof additional farms is in the pipe line for 2012-2013.TargetConsidering the high proportion of goat/sheep slaughtered illegally it is proposed to target aproduction of 100t goat/sheep meat at the central abattoir by 2015.The following measures are proposed to increase goat/sheep production: Review existing schemes to make it more accessible to all farmers/entrepreneurs; Introduce new schemes that will support multiplier farms in the supply of breeding animals; Set up a goat improvement programme through use of artificial insemination; and 34
  •  Introduction of a levy (10 cents/kg imports) on imported goat/sheep meat to subsidise slaughter fee so as to discourage illegal slaughter.DeerMauritius is witnessing a rapid growth in sectors like tourism and agro-processing, morepressure is being put on this sector to meet the projected per capita consumption of0.6kg/annum in year 2015. However, during the last year production has been stagnatingaround 450 tonnes and with the present set-up it is unlikely to reach 750t, as there is anincreasing interest for eco-tourism and set up of Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) in deerchassées. Limited land resources do not permit further expansion of intensive farming systems.Furthermore, pasture development is limited to only 5% on leased state lands and this leads toa scarcity of fodder at certain periods of the year which is offset by costly supplementary feeds.The high cost of concentrate feed as supplement and a fluctuation in carcass weight atslaughter, there is a need for research and development to focus towards increasing deerproductivity at least cost.The following measures are proposed to increase production of venison: Setting up of scheme for construction of feedlot and purchase of equipment (including materials for fencing); Increase productivity and market weight of deer through R & D; and Reinforce measures to combat poaching and control stray dogs.PigThe pig sector has recovered from the African Swine Fever and the country has been declaredfree from the disease since April 2012. The pig population which decreased from 18,000 in 2006to 5,000 heads in 2007 reached peak population of 23,000 heads in 2011. The main problemsfacing the sector are high cost of production and marketing due to excess supply. However,slaughter statistics showed that only 650t pig-meat were produced in 2011 indicating that ahigh percentage of animals were being slaughtered illegally. Moreover, statistics also showedthat around 1,000t of pork were imported in 2011 mainly for processing. The main reasonsaccounting for high level of imports are poor quality of local produce and high cost ofproduction. Other problems constraining the sector are: poor hygienic conditions of the pigfarms, use of below standard animal feeds including swill and lack of appropriate infrastructureon relocation sites.The MAIFS has set up a Pig Steering Committee to monitor the pig sector. These includes:relocation of 150 pig breeders from environmentally sensitive areas to a selected pig site at StMartin and the setting up of reproduction farms. Further support is being given through 35
  • training of farmers and feeding strategies to increase production and quality. Emphasis is alsolaid on bio-security measures, adoption of good husbandry practices and production of betterquality meat in order to tap agro-processing opportunities.Production of quality pig meat is a pre-requisite for increasing the competiveness of locallyproduced pork. The use of artificial insemination to improve the genetic potential of local pig isalso being implemented. Use of appropriate technologies to improve meat quality and valueaddition needs to be investigated. The government has announced the setting up of a modernslaughter house to meet international norms. This will increase the opportunities for processingof local products and provide opportunities for accessing hotels and thus reduce import of pigmeat for processing.Actions are underway for the construction of the waste treatment system for newly relocatedpig breeders at Saint Martin. Phase 2 would be implemented while support to set upreproduction farms at La Chaumière and La Laura, Ecroignard would be on going.TargetThe unplanned increase in pig production following the re-launching process has resulted in aglut on the market. The target would therefore be to increase the amount of pig slaughtered atthe central abattoir to reach 1,200t and representing a self-sufficiency of 73% by 2015.The following measures are proposed to modernise pig farming: Setting up of a new HACCP certified slaughter house to increase the competitiveness of pork slaughtered at the Central Abattoir; Upgrading of the pig sties as per guidelines on Good Animal Husbandry Practices; Setting up of reproductive farms; Preparation and implementation of a “Cahier de Charges” for pig production; Feasibility study on the setting up of HACCP certified “Sale de Decoupe”; Financial scheme for purchase of machinery and equipments for primary production and processing of pork; Financial schemes for purchase of refrigerated transport facilities; and Introduction of a levy (50 cents/kg imports) on import of pig-meat to subsidise slaughter fee. 36
  • PoultryThe country is self-sufficient in chicken meat and eggs. However, the country still imports otherpoultry species (ducks, turkeys, etc.) and precooked poultry products amounting to some3,300t in 2011 and representing around 7% of total production. Opportunities therefore existfor further value addition and production of diversified poultry products. Despite the highdependency on imported raw materials the industry has maintained its resilience to theincreasing prices of raw materials on the world market. The industry is also threatened by theintroduction of highly pathogenic diseases such as Avian Flu, thereby increasing itsvulnerability. Other concerns facing poultry producers are inappropriate waste disposal, limitedavailability of litter materials (woodshavings) and shortage of labour.Up to now, the industry has benefitted from restrictions on imports. However with the adventof WTO, there will be increasing pressure for cheap imports. In order to increase thecompetitiveness of the sector and to maintain a high level of bio security, support will be givento poultry operators/new entrepreneurs to increase production efficiency and to engage inpoultry processing activities.TargetThe country being self-sufficient in poultry meat emphasis is put on quality and safety andcompliance to environmental norms. The target is therefore to improve the farm and slaughterhouse to meet national standards.The following measures are proposed for poultry sector: Loan scheme to upgrade poultry sheds, enhance biosecurity measures; Loan scheme for purchase of equipment and mechanization of farm activities; Loan scheme for installation of improved waste disposal system to mitigate environmental nuisances; and Loan scheme for upgrading slaughter houses to meet standards. 37
  • 17. Cross Cutting IssuesResearch and DevelopmentThe main objective of the R&D programme is to increase production and productivity in asustainable manner.This will be achieved through the support of the following activities: Improvement of efficiency of feed utilization through nutritional management; Identification of alternative feed resources in view of proposing feeding strategies to increase production; Development and promotion of fodder production and conservation strategies; Assessment of the use of artificial insemination to upgrade the genetic potential of goat/sheep and pig; Conservation of biodiversity for eventual use in breeding programmes; Development of opportunities for agro-processing through development of protocols for value added products; and Development and promotion of the concept of “Clean, Green and Ethical” Animal Production and ensure sustainable production.Agro-processingThe limited value addition in locally produced livestock hinders access to market opportunities.Compliance to quality standards is also a major constraint which affects the competiveness ofvalue added products.It is proposed to: Develop capacity building in processing of livestock products; Assist entrepreneurs to tap existing opportunities; and Develop technology in agro-processing and provide information and knowledge that will empower producers to be market oriented.Breeding stock and Genetic improvementFarmers were not able to import improved breeds of livestock due to lengthy procedures andadministrative problem. Even clustering of farmers and initiatives undertaken by governmentinstitution to facilitate the import process was not unsuccessful. 38
  • It is therefore proposed to: Establish public/private partnership in dairy farming activities to set up livestock production units operated in a PPP and to ensure supply of breeding animals to dairy farmers at cost price; and Prevent slaughtering of productive breeding females by putting in place appropriate policies and regulatory framework to ensure implementation and monitoring.Food Safety, Animal Health and WelfareMauritius is threatened by existing and emerging animal diseases. The introduction of AfricanSwine fever, Contagious Caprine Pleuro Pneumonia (CCPP), Goat Pox, etc. in the country isclear indication that the country is not protected from disease introduction. Moreover, casesof food poisoning arising from contamination of livestock products calls for strict vigilance andestablishment of protocols for monitoring and control. Implementation of measuresmentioned in the Food Security Fund to re-organize and upgrade the Veterinary Services inorder to address the above issues has been initiated through the support of the OIE.It is proposed that: The Animal Health Division of the AREU be revamped to address these issues and assist the Division of Veterinary Services in the investigations process as well as advise on the formulation and establishment of disease management plan for diseases control and food safety system.Development of the CGE (Clean Green and Ethical vision) Concept in Animal ProductionConsumers and traders have become more conscious on the way and methods of productionused by the producers. Adoption of good production and manufacturing practices is necessaryfor a sustainable development in order to become more resilient.The objective of the CGE approach is to provide an edge to agricultural produce by providing athrust to innovation in terms of management practices to meet the expectations of themarketplace. In the context of “Maurice: Ile Durable”, and to address food security and foodsafety issues, sensitization and implementation of CGE is highly relevant as it would act as adriving force for innovations in the livestock sector to improve the image and competitivenessof our local produce. Activities to be implemented in line with the CGE comprise consultancy and setting up of pilotproject in line with CGE concept namely ensuring animal welfare, minimizing/ eliminating theusage of chemicals like drugs and growth promoters, adopting management practices that haveminimal detrimental effect on the environment and thus evolve the sector towards moresustainable practices (e.g minimal herbicides use in pastures, nutritional management ofruminants to reduce methane emission and proper disposal of livestock waste). 39
  • Risk Management SchemeAgri-businesses, in particular, the livestock development projects, are characterized byrelatively high capital investment to cater for establishment of production facilities andacquisition of high performing breeding stock. The rate of return during first five is rather lowand this gives rise to serious cash flow difficulties. It is very hard to expect break-even or anymeaningful profits earlier than five years under normal conditions.It is proposed that an appropriate scheme be set up to support initiatives to boost up localproduction and build up resilience in the dairy sector.It comprises of a one off loan depending on the project value at 5% interest rate refundableover a period of 5 years.Milk and Milk Advisory BoardThe Food Security Fund Strategic Plan (2008-2011) and Government Programme 2010-2015proposed the setting up of a National Meat and Milk Board (NMMB) in order to addressshortcomings and to coordinate livestock development activities. The setting up of the NMMBas the principal advisory entity of the Government in respect to livestock matters will provide acommon platform where representatives of all stakeholders/players can be brought togetherfor planning, monitoring and development in the livestock sector as well as formulation andapplication of policies. Action initiated for its implementation was hindered by legal constraintsfor the setting up of the board. The identification of the appropriate body as well as the legalframework for the setting up of the board needs to be given priority.The livestock sector is to be driven by the private sector. The government should act as afacilitator by providing logistical support necessary to increase and sustain food security.18. Strategic Plan for RodriguesAgriculture in Rodrigues is the mainstay of the economy and employed 35% of the workingpopulation in 2010. The agricultural activities are livestock rearing and food crops productionwhere the former is the major income generating activity especially due to exports. Total foodcrop production of the island has improved from 2,980t in 2008 to 3,698t in 2010 representingan increase of 24%. Livestock production, on the other hand, has increased by 29% to reach10,094 heads in 2010; thereby improving the food security status of the island.Food crop production is being done mostly under rain fed conditions on the island except forsome 170ha out of the total cultivated area of 519ha where irrigation water is available.Provision of incentives such as fencing and access road has leveraged farmers’ clustering,leading to improved production of key cash crops such as onion and red bean. 40
  • The Food Security Strategic plan 2008-2011 had made provision for implementation of 21projects for a value of MUR 187M. However, by December 2011, only MUR 70M weredisbursed for 11 projects which were implemented.Trends and ChallengesThe agricultural sector in Rodrigues is recovering from the drastic decline of the 1990’s at a veryslow rate. The 40% increase in food crop production between 2009 and 2010 has resulted into adecrease in vegetable import from Mauritius. Local demands have, on the other hand, incurredan increase with higher food crop consumption. The traditional production like red bean, limeand chilli is increasing due to higher tourist visits, especially those from Mauritius. Lime andchilli demand for processing purpose is also increasing. Goat production has gained acompetitive export advantage in 2010 and has almost displaced pig in the hierarchy ofpreferred breeding animals and is practically being raised by all families. The following of themain challenges facing the Rodriguan agriculture: Poor marketing or absence of sound marketing channels; Insufficient irrigation water to sustain a leveled food crop production throughout the year and hence a stable price; Fodder shortage (quantity and quality) for breeding animals; High prices of agricultural inputs (seeds, manure, labour, feeds, agro-chemicals, glass jars, tools and equipment); Abandoned agricultural land prone to soil erosion (1,000ha not cultivated in 2010); Climate change leading to greater uncertainties; Straying animals which feed on food crops; Genetic erosion (livestock and crop); Traceability of processed foods; Labour scarcity; An ageing farmers’ population; and Low adoption of modern technologies and risks aversion (perpetuation of traditional agriculture). 41
  • The Crop SectorThe area under food crop cultivation has increased from 428ha in 2008 to 519.6ha in 2010 witha total production of 3,698.4t. Production of red bean, potato and onion has increased from995t in 2007 to 1,854t in 2010. There has been more than 40% increase in both area under red bean cultivation and production. The rehabilitation of areas under this crop (bean villages at Baie Topaze and Terre Rouge) has generated a positive response to such a point that red bean production has become ubiquitous on the island. Nevertheless, planters are not generating a comfortable profit margin since the cost of production of the crop is quite high due to high incidence of pests and diseases, insufficient irrigation water and high labour cost. Onion production has increased from 408t in 2008 to 800t in 2010. The rehabilitation of 10 onion growing areas around the island has better shaped the sector; enabling planters’ clustering and their respective training. Besides, the establishment of a marketing channel through the Rodrigues Trading and Marketing Co Ltd has also eased this achievement. Rodrigues is self-sufficient in onion. The surplus production is exported to Mauritius at latest 3 months from harvest and the island immediately switches to import onion. Local seed production of crops has dropped in the past years with the high availability and relatively low cost of imported seeds. However, in recent years, the international soaring of seed prices has become the main constraints to food crop production in Rodrigues. Onion seed, for example, has incurred over 75% increase over the last five years. Some 1,000ha of fertile agricultural land are not being cultivated because there are stones and boulders on the land and which is inaccessible and cannot be ploughed mechanically. Furthermore, there is no irrigation water with the presence of straying animals on the land. There are 2,200ha of fertile agricultural land out of which 519ha is under food crop production, 850ha under fodder including communal pasture and the rest mostly unexploited. In view of optimising the use of available land resources to achieve better food security and produce for export, there is an urgent need to properly manage the agricultural land. This will be achieved through the setting-up of a proper agricultural land cadastre. 42
  •  Fruits are mainly produced in backyards and production has increased due to favourable climatic conditions. The most dominant fruit species are the citrus (lime, orange, mandarine and Pamplemousses). The Rodriguan lime “the ti limon de Rodrigues” is very popular and has a very high commercial value. Some 200t were exported to Mauritius during the past 10 years. People involved in the agro-processing industry have developed a variety of products, with lemon as main raw material. Breadfruit is being used in different ways. Many people are interested in growing breadfruit. However, it is difficult to get seedlings as its propagation is quite delicate. The main concern is to produce enough planting materials to satisfy demands. The agro-processing sector regroups some 200 actors of which more than 190 are women. Some 35 products are being processed by them and among which lemon base pickles detain the highest market share. Most of these agro-processors do their processing activity in their home kitchen while a few have invested into a special room in their house for such activity. In order to ensure food norms and better food safety, this project intends to assist these processors to acquire room space and equipment to raise their product standards. Fruit damage by fruit flies ranges from 50 to 75%. As a result, farmers tend to apply insecticides very frequently; thereby putting at risk the safety of the food crops, their health and the ecology of the island. Fruit flies attacking fruits and vegetables must be kept below the threshold level to ensure sustainable production of good quality products. Coffee is produced in backyards. 3 planters have planters 150 plants. Coffee exists in backyards mainly those in the centre of the island, but mature seeds are not being processed. Many visitors appreciate the quality of the Rodriguan Arabica coffee. Coffee can be promoted as a niche cash crop for Rodrigues, hence promoting diversification of rodriguan agriculture and increase the array of opportunities for our local crops.Proposed actionsTo address these issues, the following measures are proposed: Derocking and provision of drains and terraces (250ha); Provision of irrigation water where possible; Introduce light machineries for planters to mechanise production; Construction of an Incubation Centre for professional training of agro-processors; Construction of 3 community kitchens as cottage industry and model processing unit; Provision of assistance to processors for construction of workshops and purchase of equipment; Setting up of breadfruit orchards as model for other planters and production of planting materials; 43
  •  Setting up of a seed booster scheme for planters’ community in view of motivating them to produce to quantity the required food crops (bean, potato, onion and garlic); Initiation of a Quality Declared Seed (QDS) programme to revive production of local seed production of strategic crops; Setting up of an onion curing unit cum store to store onion for local consumption over a longer period; Training/sensitising of planters and consumers on sustainable production of coffee; Sensitization programme on eating more fruits for better health needs to be maintained to increase demand for local fruits; Review of the marketing of Rodriguan agricultural products through appropriate market research, value chain analysis and marketing strategy to tap higher prices and volumes; Harvesting of rain water for irrigation; Increase in local inputs share in the sector (quality seeds production, use of local feeds, promote crop production, compost and bio-agents use); Rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands; Adoption of environment friendly production practices to mitigate the effects of climate change; Setting-up of a farmers’ training school in Rodrigues to promote agribusiness among the youth; and Promotion of novel technologies through capacity building of farmers, on field demonstrations/trials and facilitation of access to credits.The Livestock Sector The livestock census in 2002 revealed the presence of 6,000 cattle, 10,000 pigs, 6,500 goats and 5,000 sheep. The pattern of livestock rearing system in Rodrigues is slowly changing. More people are venturing into livestock production. This means there is an increase in the number of livestock heads. The new breeders need to be inculcated to the proper aspects of animal husbandry so as to prevent devastating effects of overgrazing. No livestock census has been conducted since 2002. Artificial Insemination in dairy cattle was introduced in Rodrigues in 1990 and operated up to 1999, it would be re-introduced in cattle, goats and pig so address the problem of inbreeding and facilitate the introduction of adapted breeds. The prevailing livestock rearing system is mostly a free grazing one with little or no concern for an appropriate management of pasture areas to ensure a constant availability of quality fodder throughout the year. Consequently, breeders are forced to reduce their stock when 44
  • approaching dry periods while the remaining ones suffer from under feeding for almost 3 months during the year. With the estimated ruminant herds of around 6,000 cattle, 5,000 sheep and 8,000 goats kept under the present extensive grazing on common pastures, the prospect and profitability of the livestock sector remain rather bleak. The number of livestock slaughtered during 2011 is as follows: 144 beef, 257 goat, 92 sheep and 1801 pigs. The slaughter house under construction consists of 3 slaughtering modules for beef, pig and goat and sheep, and annex building such as holding pen for each type, administrative block and generator room. An incinerator is also included for destruction of condemned parts or animals. The number of livestock slaughtered during 2011 is as follows: 144 beef, 257 goat, 92 sheep and 1801 pigs. The slaughter house under construction consists of 3 slaughtering modules for beef, pig and goat and sheep, and annex building such as holding pen for each type, administrative block and generator room. An incinerator is also included for destruction of condemned parts or animals. To achieve a sustainable livestock sector, it is the policy of the Regional Government to promote the cut and carry system, and clustering of farmers in specific zone. To this end, farmers need support and incentives to move towards an improved and professionalize activity.Proposed actions:To address these issues, the following measures are proposed: Create community pastures and rehabilitate pasture areas in 10 sites over 220ha to promote productivity and quality; Initiate the cut and carry system. Breeders will be requested to construct their animal sheds in the vicinity of these pasture areas to facilitate access to fodder; Convert any production surplus into hay or silage for differed use, especially in dry periods. Provide fund to purchase equipment and machineries of the Slaughter House for the prompt operation of each unit. With the operation of the Slaughter House, there will an increase in quantity of heads slaughtered principally pig hence creating the opportunity for marketing of meat cuts and the development of processing sector; Improve breed; Provide farmers with facilities to trigger production improvement, infusion of novel technologies and meat processing to increase food security status and promote export. Improvement of fodder production and management (through creation of Community pastures and promotion of cut and carry system); and Conservation and improvement of genetic resources through appropriate research (gene banks, artificial insemination, etc). 45
  • 19. ConclusionThe present strategic plan is a continuation of the previous plan taking into account lessonslearnt and addressing the constraints hindering the implementation of the activitiesprogrammed for the period 2008-2011. The plan provides for measures to achieve 35% of ourfood requirements by 2015 based on assumptions that land and funds are made available in atimely manner.The Food Security Fund for the next 3 years needs to be driven by the Private Sector togetherwith other primary producers. The Government will act as a facilitator and provide necessarysupport to ensure that the set targets are achieved. This will also ensure that farmers areempowered to increase their competiveness to meet the challenges of globilisation.The strategic plan has been worked out to cover the periods 2013-2015. Measures proposed inthe plan address the immediate needs for an increase in production of food commodities andprepare the way for a stronger food system that will increase its resilience to future challenge.The total investment required for the implementation of the plan over the said period amountsto Rs1,086M of which Rs915M is meant for Mauritius and Rs171M would be required forRodrigues. 46
  • BUDGET FORECAST (MUR) 2013-2015 Grand Summary of Budget (Mauritius and Rodrigues) 2013 2014 2015 TotalTotal Mauritius Crop 203.5 134.0 120.2 457.7Total Mauritius Livestock 201.8 167.3 87.8 456.8Total Mauritius 405.3 301.3 208.0 914.5Total Rodrigues Crop 36.6 23.3 17.0 76.8Total Rodrigues Livestock 54.0 18.2 22.2 94.4Total Rodrigues 90.6 41.5 39.2 171.2 Grand Total 495.8 342.8 247.1 1,085.7 53