Mauritius takes to organic farming

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Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has launched the island’s first organic farming zone at Britannia, in the south of the island.

He said the government was committed to supporting sustainable agricultural development and organic food production for the local market and increase export potential as well as diminish high reliance on chemical inputs.

Mr Jugnauth noted that for the development of this first organic zone of 66 acres, an amount of MRs 25 million has been allotted under Budget 2016-2017.

He underlined that under the present demanding food crop production systems, planters relied heavily on the use of agrochemicals, particularly pesticides and chemical fertilisers.

“This practice is not environment friendly and is a threat to food quality and safety,’’ the PM said.

He added that the promotion of sustainable and organic agriculture through innovations and environmentally safe practices would boost the agricultural sector.

According to Mr Jugnauth, Mauritius should produce enough to ensure food security but with increasing consumer awareness on safe food and environment friendly practices it is important to focus on the quality of the products.

He said that the potential of producing organic fruits and vegetables existed in Mauritius and urged the youth to join and develop the sector with the help of new technology.

“Organic production can help us to access viable and value-added markets to benefit from higher prices,’’ Mr Jugnauth said. ##

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