Jul 2, 2019

Transformation of Belle Mare into a Climate-Smart Agriculture village for climate resilience, food security, and poverty alleviation of its farmers”

Climate Change is a global challenge, but its impact are affecting developing countries the most. Smallholder agricultural and food producers are being particularly affected, directly as well as indirectly. It is therefore essential to increase their resilience, and ability to adapt, to the changing climate.

The overall aim of this farmer-participative project, funded by the Eurpoean Union under its GCCA+ Flagship Initiative "Supporting CSA for smallholders in the Republic of Mauritius, is to provide support to smallholders in the region of Belle Mare in order to help them transform their present dya conventional agriculture into CSA, namely one that provides them with a sustainable livelihood, contributes to national food security, is productive and climate resilient, while being environment-friendly, and producing lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

At the ceremony, field equipment and vehicle will be handed over to planters of the Belle Mare region.


Jun 19, 2019

INTERNATIONAL ELEMENTARY CERTIFICATE IN HACCP FOR FOOD MANUFACTURING

The Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius is organising the REHIS International Elementary Certificate in HACCP course, as follows:

Target Audience: Students (Diploma, BSc, MSc, MPhil/PhD) of the Faculty of Agriculture, who wish to acquire basic knowledge on HACCP and principles of Hazard Analysis, and obtain a certificate of achievement awarded by the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, by participating in a 6 hour short course and undertaking a 30 minutes examination.

Click here for more information

May 19, 2019

Staff Exchange Programme with the University of Osijek, Croatia


A Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius delegation visited the Faculty of Agro-Biotechnical Sciences Osijek from 17 to 24 May 2019. The team was composed of Prof. dr. sc. Sunita Facknath, dr. sc. Shane Hardowar, dr. sc. Swaleha Bibi Hudaa Neetoo, dr. sc. Vishwakalyan Bhoyroo and Nadeem Nazurally. They had the opportunity to get acquainted with the activity and scientific research potential of the Faculty and the Faculty experiments. There were many common themes - from climate change and the impact on agriculture to the cultivation of different cultures and possible professional and scientific cooperation. Cooperation with The Faculty of Agriculture began at the end of 2015, and after several years of communication and cooperation planning, a mobility project was approved through the Erasmus + program, and a two-fold visit was finally realized this year as the FAZOS delegation visited Mauritius in February. In addition to the official part of the visit, guests had the opportunity to participate in the pre-activity of the European Night of Researchers at the Mandićevac faculty trial, visiedt Vukovar and Vinkovci, and enjoy the culinary delights and natural beauties of Osijek, as well as other parts of Slavonia and Baranja.

Written by Vlatka ROZMAN, Daniel HAMAN

May 17, 2019

Sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle - Le projet PRESAN de la COI.


Le Programme régional de sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle (PRESAN) est issu d'un partenariat entre la Commission de l'océan Indien (COI),l’Organisation des Nations unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO) et du Fonds international pour le développement agricole (FIDA). Ce projet vise à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire des Etats membres dela COI (Union des Comores, France/Réunion, Madagascar, Maurice,Seychelles) notamment à travers: la promotion de la coopération régional, le développement du commerce inter-îles et l'adoption de régimes alimentaires plus sains. Le point focal pour Ile Maurice est la FAREI.


Apr 26, 2019

Visiting Prof K.Messenghem - Au Revoir Tea Party

Prof Karrim Messenghem has completed his visit at the Faculty of Agriculture. During his stay with us he explained clearly the concept behind the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and it’s relation with the AGRI Tech Park of the University. Thank you Professeur. A bientot!


















Apr 25, 2019

Faculty of Agriculture Research Day - 25 April 2019




The 11th Edition of the UoM Research Week was organised by the University of Mauritius from 22 to 26 April 2019. The Faculty of Agriculture Research Day was held on Thursday 25 April 2019. Its main theme for this year was Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture.

The Faculty Research Day aims to provide a consolidated platform for staff, students and researchers to interact and carry out peer discussions of ongoing or emerging research. It aims also at showcasing the ongoing research activities and capabilities at the Faculty. It is an opportunity for the Faculty to showcase its potential and to highlight innovative, viable, long-term projects The emphasis of the Faculty Research Day is to build links and networks between service providers and researchers. It was attended by our major stakeholders and students.





Apr 20, 2019

Round Table Discussion _ "Universités Entrepreneuriales: Regards Croisés"


The Faculty of Agriculture in collaboration with the Vice-Chancellor’s office of the University of Mauritius organised a Round Table discussion on the following theme: "Universités Entrepreneuriales: Regards Croisés", on the 19th April 2019.

The aim of the round table discussion was to obtain the perspective of Professor Messeghem, a visiting Professor and working together with Dr Brinda Ramasawmy of the Faculty of Agriculture, on how universities can engage in entrepreneurial activities based on his experience from LabEX Entreprendre in Montpellier and from other universities in France. The discussion centered on the Mauritian context and how UoM can go forward to promote itself as an entrepreneurial university and setting up of the AgriTECH Park.

Prof K. Messeghem and Dr. B. Ramasawmy
Prof Messeghem presented the LabEX Entreprendre in Montpellier and gave examples of entrepreneurial universities in France with best practices for creating the necessary conditions to prepare the youth to engage in entrepreneurial activities. He also discussed the entrepreneurial support ecosystem which he defines as a localized system, with socio-economic actors interacting and sharing a common goal. Specifically, it is composed of networks of political and institutional actors, support organizations, universities, professional associations and financial institutions that can meet the needs of incubatees. Its aim is the creation and development of firms and, more broadly, the creation of regional wealth. Together with Dr B. Ramsawmy, they presented the preliminary results on the Mauritian entrepreneurial ecosystem and its  SWOT. The Vice-Chancellor gave a talk on the entrepreneurial initiatives of the University of Mauritius.






The round table discussion focused on the model that UoM can use to become an entrepreneurial university and the role of the AgriTECH Park. One of the key elements that came out from the discussion is that we need to strengthen our Mauritian entrepreneurial ecosystem so that there are strong linkages among all stakeholders to favour the emergence of new start ups and engage more and more youth in developing entrepreneurial skills and new enterprises. It was also emphasised that we need to find the right balance between cooperation and competition among the various stakeholders in the ecosystems, hence the new term coopetition?

Coopetition is defined as the combination of two strategic behaviors that at first glance appear to be opposed: cooperation and competition (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1995). Coopetition in the entrepreneurial support ecosystem is marked by both intensifying competitive dynamics and a need for cooperation in order to meet the requirements of most public funders (Theodoraki and Messeghem, 2014).

Apr 10, 2019

Production Agricole et L'Alimentation a Ile Maurice

Daneshwar Puchooa, Doyen de la faculté d’agriculture de l’UoM : «Notre culture alimentaire doit changer»
 
Daneshwar PuchooaEn votre qualité de doyen de la faculté d’agriculture de l’Université de Maurice (UoM), quelle est, selon vous, la principale source d’inquiétude dans le secteur de l’alimentation ?
 
Il y a de la part des Mauriciens une prise de conscience des effets directs de l’agriculture sur notre alimentation. L’importance accordée à la sécurité alimentaire de nos concitoyens n’a jamais été aussi grande. La production agricole et agro-industrielle est suffisante pour éviter les pénuries. La qualité sanitaire des produits est bonne, grâce aux normes d’hygiène et aux contrôles. L’intensification des méthodes de culture augmente les rendements. Nous pouvons produire suffisamment pour satisfaire les besoins du pays à des prix abordables.

Une source d’inquiétude est l’utilisation abusive d’antibiotiques dans l’élevage d’animaux. La résistance aux antibiotiques est une des menaces les plus répandues à travers le monde. Elle est déjà responsable de près de 700 000 décès par an.


Comment peut-on changer notre modèle d’agriculture ?
La filière des légumes est un maillon important de l’agriculture de Maurice. Environ 85 % de la production locale provient des petits planteurs et les 15 % restants des établissements sucriers et autres gros planteurs. Cela démontre le rôle important des petits producteurs dans l’alimentation de la population.

En identifiant les défis de notre planète, nous constatons aussi que nous sommes confrontés à des enjeux : changement climatique, épuisement des énergies fossiles, vieillissement, inégalités croissantes et déséquilibres socio-économiques, et perte de la biodiversité.

Quels pourraient être les axes de relance dans le secteur ?
Il faudrait mieux valoriser nos produits d’antan. Notre culture alimentaire doit impérativement changer. La pomme de terre, le manioc, le maïs et le fruit à pain doivent devenir des aliments de base. Cela réduirait notre dépendance du riz et de la farine.

Parlons à présent du macadamia. Représente-t-il une bonne alternative pour les planteurs de canne ?
Le macadamia est un arbre qui atteint sa pleine maturité à 12 voire 15 ans. Il mesure alors 15 mètres. Les premières noix sont produites quand l’arbre atteint cinq ou six ans. Mais le rendement demeure relativement faible jusqu’à 10 voire 12 ans. Tout planteur qui souhaiterait se lancer dans cette activité devrait attendre une décennie avant de songer à faire recette. La culture du macadamia devrait se faire sur les terrains abandonnés par les planteurs de canne à sucre.

Dispose-t-on des compétences nécessaires pour ce type de culture ?

Nous avons besoin de spécialistes en la matière : culture, recherche, développement, protection contre les maladies, production de semences de qualité, gestion de pépinières et commercialisation. La sécurité alimentaire ne signifie pas seulement produire ce qui est traditionnellement consommé. Il s’agit aussi d’explorer de nouvelles possibilités qui renforceront les efforts nationaux en matière de sécurité alimentaire.

Apr 5, 2019

Outbreak of Fall Army Worm in Mauritius - A status of the control measures

La nouvelle est à présent confirmée, la chenille légionnaire d’automne est arrivée à Maurice et elle affecte déjà des champs de maïs dans plusieurs régions de l’île. C’est pour la toute première fois que ce ravageur touche les plantations à Maurice. La situation est actuellement gérable. Les autorités ont ainsi lancé une vaste campagne pour éliminer ces larves avant qu’elles ne puissent se transformer en papillons de nuit. Hier après-midi, le ministre de l’Agro-industrie et des cadres de son ministère étaient à Phoenix pour une inspection dans un champ de maïs, Mahen Seeruttun a été rassurant, une procédure a été enclenchée en consultation avec la FAO.
Kavish Pultoo / S. Brojmohun / A. Budhoo



La chenille légionnaire affecte les champs mauriciens depuis le 28 mars dernier. Plusieurs mesures sont entreprises par le Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) pour minimiser les dégâts causés par cet insecte ravageur. La deuxième série de traitement a débuté le jeudi 4 avril 2019. Quant aux mesures à long-terme, le FAREI étudie actuellement la possibilité d'éliminer la chenille légionnaire par le biais des parasites. Reportage : Reeya Rambojun

Mar 22, 2019

Household Organic Garden project



One of the aims of Government is to transform Mauritius into an organic island in the near future, through different projects implemented by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, as well as other institutions. Citizens will thus be encouraged to cultivate, as far as possible and without the use of any chemical product, vegetables in their backyard for their own consumption.

The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement yesterday at the launching of the Household Organic Garden project, at the Farmers Service Centre of Union Park.

Minister Seeruttun highlighted that in order to reach Government's objective, several incentives are being offered to planter to encourage them to shift from a conventional method to an organic one. One of these methods, he stated, is the bio-farming scheme whereby Government is financing all costs associated with the registration, certification and audit for those holders of a Bio-farming Development Certificate who would wish to acquire the international organic label for their farm produce.

Use of Fertigation in Agriculture



Découvrons ce soir un nouveau concept agricole connu comme la FERTIGATION. Une technique qui est en train d’être démocratisée par le FAREI. Elle a été élaborée de sorte à consommer moins d’eau, mais aussi moins de fertilisant. Cette semaine, un planteur du sud de l’île a reçu sa structure de Fertigation. Une équipe de la MBC est partie à sa rencontre à Carreau Esnouf

Is Mauritius set to become an organic Island?



GIS– 20 March, 2019: One of the aims of Government is to transform Mauritius into an organic island in the near future, through different projects implemented by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, as well as other institutions. Citizens will thus be encouraged to cultivate, as far as possible and without the use of any chemical product, vegetables in their backyard for their own consumption. The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement yesterday at the launching of the Household Organic Garden project, at the Farmers Service Centre of Union Park.

Minister Seeruttun highlighted that in order to reach Government’s objective, several incentives are being offered to planter to encourage them to shift from a conventional method to an organic one. One of these methods, he stated, is the bio-farming scheme whereby Government is financing all costs associated with the registration, certification and audit for those holders of a Bio-farming Development Certificate who would wish to acquire the international organic label for their farm produce.

He underscored that the launching of the Household Organic Garden project is part of a sensitisation campaign so as to encourage and enable the population to use the organic method of cultivation. Union Park, he added, has been chosen for the launching of the project, following several surveys carried out by the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI), as its climate is favourable and many inhabitants have space in their backyard to implement this method of agriculture.

The Agro-Industry Minister underlined that FAREI will also provide training, which is approved by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority, to some 200 inhabitants of Union Park, before implementing the project in other regions around the island. He also cautioned that all norms concerning organic agriculture will have to be adopted so as to ensure that every harvested product is healthy and of good quality.

During the launching ceremony, several beneficiaries received a starter kit to set up their own organic garden while certificates were also awarded to some organic growers who satisfy all required criteria in organic agriculture.

Role of the youth to join and develop the agricultural sector


GIS - 21 March, 2019: The youth should join the agricultural sector so that the country can become self-sufficient in food crops and with view to encouraging them, Government is providing several incentives so that they develop an interest in the agricultural sector thus contributing to its growth, said the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun.
He was speaking, yesterday, at Carreau Esnouf, Plaine Magnien at the handing over ceremony of small scale drip irrigation system, an initiative of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI), . The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo and the Chief Whip, Mr Mahendranuth Sharma Hurreeram were also present at the event.

Minister Mahen Seeruttun underlined that some 10 planters across the island will benefit from the Gravity-Fed Drip Irrigation System which will cover an area of about 2000m2. The system, he said, forms part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)-RAF5079 Project, and has many advantages. It requires no pump and is energy-saving unlike the pressurised drip irrigation system which requires an electric or petrol driven pump, he said. Other benefits are namely, low pressure and low discharge of water, no wastage of water, direct flow of water to the root zone, improved crop yield and quality, low application of fertilisers through fertigation, and lower labour cost, he added.

Furthermore, the Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to give a new dynamism to the agricultural sector and delved on the measures that have been implemented to tackle the challenges faced by the sector, namely the Use of Pesticides Bill, provision of additional funds for grants to planters and various training programmes.

The Minister also announced the construction of 100 sheltered farms across the country and added that 50 will be constructed in the year 2019 while the remaining 50 will be set up next year. The purpose is to reduce the rate of imported fruits and vegetables, and to boost local production.

For his part, Minister Jhugroo highlighted that the system aiming to enhance food security and income of vulnerable farmers, was launched in 2014 and has been implemented in some 25 regions across the country on a small scale of 200 m2. He further mentioned that the irrigation system is a great success in several countries including Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, and Zimbabwe. He, therefore, made an appeal to planters to contact FAREI in order to benefit from the system as well as receive training of this new system so that they can in turn install same in their fields.

As for Mr Hurreeram he cautioned on the alarming rate of health issue caused due to the excessive use of pesticides and encouraged planters to adopt the modern techniques of organic farming so as to minimizing the risks on human health and the environment.

Agro-Industry and Food Security – Unlocking a new phase of agricultural development



L’Economic Development Board (EDB), organisme dont le rôle est d’agir comme facilitateur et passerelle entre le secteur public et le privé, a organisé jeudi un atelier sur le développement du secteur agricole. Cet événement, qui bénéficie de la collaboration de la Commission on Economic Affairs du National Economic and Social Council (NESC), s’insère dans le cadre des consultations pré-budgétaires. Plusieurs acteurs de l’agro-industrie locale, dont le ministre de tutelle, Mahen Seeruttun et le ministre des Affaires, de l’Entreprise et des Coopératives Soomilduth Bholah, ainsi que des représentants du secteur privé, y ont participé. De nombreux aspects liés à l’agro-industrie ont été abordés par les intervenants, notamment la sécurité alimentaire et les enjeux auxquels ce secteur est confronté, notamment les alternatives au sucre, l’adaptation au changement climatique et les nouveaux axes de diversification.

Tracer une feuille de route et identifier des seuils de croissance pour insuffler une nouvelle dynamique au secteur de l’agro-industrie. C’est la mission de la Commission on Economic Affairs, présidée par le ministre de l’Agro-industrie Mahen Seeruttun et opérant sous la coupole du National Economic and Social Council. En ligne avec son mandat d’organisme de promotion du développement économique, l’Economic Development Board (EDB) a été appelé à coordonner les efforts des divers acteurs impliqués dans un certain nombre d’industries jugées prioritaires. Ce premier atelier organisé jeudi fait partie des exercices à travers lesquels l’EDB compte aider les institutions à réaliser leurs objectifs de développement. Les axes identifiés, notamment l’agro-industrie, les TPME (très petites, petites et moyennes entreprises), les industries traditionnelles, la démographie et la disparité des compétences sur le marché de l’emploi, ainsi que le secteur des services, feront l’objet de consultations lors de divers ateliers prévus au cours des semaines à venir.

Sep 10, 2018

GLIMPSES OF CLASSES - DIPLOMA IN AGRICULTURE, RODRIGUES

The Diploma in Agriculture is currently being run for 26 technical staff of the Commission for Agriculture. This programme aims to upgrade knowledge of in-service staff of the various agricultural institutions in Rodrigues with a broad spectrum of scientific, technical and managerial skills needed to contribute to the future success of agriculture


The changing socio-economic pattern of Rodrigues has led to an increasing demand for agricultural production of quality and safe food. Agricultural production is now increasingly being characterised by the use of new technologies. It is the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) policy and vision for the adoption of a technology-based approach to render the local agricultural sector more productive, market-driven, sustainable and competitive whilst responding to the environmental and ethical standards demanded by society.

The further development of agriculture and its related industries is challenging and requires appropriate knowledge, skills and technology concepts to keep pace with the latest technological developments in that sector. This has led to the need for well-trained agricultural scientists who have the technical and practical skills in addition to in-depth knowledge of the science to meet these new challenges facing the Rodriguan agriculture.





Sep 1, 2018

Prof Lalljee retires from the University of Mauritius

PROF B.LALLJEE 



Professor B Lalljee retired on the 1st September 2018 after having spent almost 29 years of meritorious service at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, which he joined on 12 September 1989. He has contributed to the Faculty and University with dedication and enthusiasm. His career started when he joined the Agricultural Chemistry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture. During his time at the University, he was Head of Department, Director of the Centre for Consultancy and Research, and member of Senate. Prof Lalljee has been instrumental in guiding the Faculty to mount innovative undergraduate courses in sustainable agriculture (e.g organic farming), which are much in the limelight these days. His foresight is bearing its fruit, as we have trained human capacity who are now promoting these practices.

he has served on many National, Regional and International committees. He was known to be a frequent traveller as he was much solicited to give addresses at conferences and to present his research papers. Despite his heavy teaching and research commitments, he made time to devote to numerous consultancies related to agricultural development, climate change, air pollution, among others, not only for Mauritius but Rodrigues as well.

In one of his note of appreciation emails, he said that “I might be retired from the UOM but I am not tired as a scientist”. So to our indefatigable colleague, We wish you all the best for a great retirement - time for you now to take your time.