GIS - 27 February, 2020: The Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, reiterated Government’s commitment to support the cooperative movement as well as to continue working for the progress of the country while catering for the needs of the population.
He was speaking today, at the inauguration ceremony of the Seedling Production Unit at the Maison des Eleveurs in Henrietta in the presence of the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and other eminent personalities.
This project, to the tune of Rs 4 million, is an initiative of the Mauritius Cooperative Agricultural Federation Limited. It has a production capacity of 108 000 seedlings, making use only of organic inputs.
In his address, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of sensitising the population especially the women and the youth about the relevance of placing cooperative societies, especially agricultural cooperative societies, at the forefront of the socio-economic activity of the country. He called for the emancipation of the youth to further consolidate the cooperative sector and bring it to a higher level of success.
Prime Minister Jugnauth stated that entrepreneurship among women should be highly encouraged adding that the Ministry of Industrial Development, Sme's and Cooperatives is providing necessary assistance to guide aspiring entrepreneurs and is empowering existing ones to sustain on the markets.
He highlighted that Government is providing several incentives to urge planters to adopt organic farming with a view to decrease reliance on chemical inputs. The increased use of chemicals, Mr Jugnauth cautioned, engenders serious harmful impacts on human health and environment.
Mr Jugnauth pointed out that the cooperative movement has today outreached several sectors including transportation, handicraft, finance, agriculture and fisheries amongst others. On this score, he commended the elderly population for their earnest hard work and sacrifices in driving the success of the cooperative sector.
For his part, Minister Bholah highlighted the importance of providing outlets for cooperatives societies to showcase their products and services as well as to increase their productivity. He also stated that his Ministry is committed to empowering planters through a number of initiatives ranging from appropriate trainings by experts, grant facilities, and various new schemes namely the Bio-Farming Development Scheme and the Bio-Farming Support Scheme, amongst others.
Mr Bholah underpinned Government’s commitment to promote the agricultural sector for the well-being of planters and the population. Several measures, he highlighted, are geared towards safeguarding the environment and providing assistance to farmers to increase crop productivity.
The Minister further pointed out that in 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Mauritius to enhance collaboration for capacity building in the field of cooperatives. Since then, he added, Mauritius has benefitted from India’s expertise in agro industry, fisheries and dairy sectors.
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