Oct 23, 2021

Visit of the Livestock Feed Limited of Eclosia Group

 The Students of the Certificate of Competency in Poultry Production visited the LFL feed mill to acquaint themselves with the manufacturing process of animal feeds especially poultry feeds. We had the opportunity to see the huge storage bins, the offloading process of the major ingredients, the control room of the manufacturing process, the loading of the feeds in bags and also the bulk feed on lorries. We were also shown the air conditioned room where all feeds manufactured  samples are stored. In the feed analysis lab, the use of the NIR for feed ad fodder analysis were demonstrated. All were topped with a convivial collation in the LFL coffee break room. Merci a LFL.


Oct 19, 2021

UoM Innovation Week - The FarmBot of the Faculty of Agriculture

UoM Innovation Week 2021



The second edition of the University of Mauritius’s (UoM) Innovation Week 2021, was Launched on 18 Oct 2021. It’s being held from 18 to 22 October 2021. The  Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Vice-Chancellor of the UoM, Professor Dhanjay Jhurry, as well as other eminent personalities were also present.  On this occasion, the Faculty of Agriculture demonstrated how the farm bot functions. 

Mr Shane Hardowar gave a brief to the Prime Minister

In this context, Mr Jugnauth recalled that the launching of the UoM Agritech Park in February 2020 is one commendable initiative that aims to modernise agricultural practices and create new opportunities for strategic public private partnerships. Furthermore, the Prime Minister emphasised that promoting digital entrepreneurship is an essential driver within the innovation system and, in this context, Government is shaping the digital future, developing the knowledge industry and, promoting skills and talent. effectively


The FarmBot

The Model of the AgriTech Park

However, attaining the above goals calls for a multi-stakeholder partnership that includes representatives of academia, industry and the community, he underlined. 


As for the Vice-Chancellor, he underlined that innovation has been the key focus of the new UoM vision and recalled that in 2020, the first UoM Innovation Week was organised and the theme was on the tripartite relationship with stakeholders and on the ecosystem required for innovation to thrive. One of the main recommendations, Professor Jhurry pointed out, was to set up a National Innovation System advocating a three-pronged approach to foster innovation, notably, Macro, Meso and; Micro.


For this second edition, he indicated that the theme ‘Sustainable Innovation in the Making’ was chosen so as to lay emphasis on the innovation capacity of the UoM working closely with stakeholders and how the UoM is contributing


The SmartBite project of the Faculty of Agriculture - A new and healthy product for Breakfast

The Prime Minister Hon. P. Jugnauth, visited the booth of the Faculty of Agriculture showcasing the Smart Bite project, led by Assoc Prof D. Puchooa, Dean of the Faculty. 
The Maniodix and SmartBite  
Product

A team of researchers ( Dr B. Ramasawmy and Dr H. Neetoo)  from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius formulated a healthy snack bar made from pulses and other low-cost natural ingredients as a healthier alternative to currently available energy dense snack bars. 

Dr Neetoo and Dr Ramasawmy presented the project 
at the UoM Innovation 2021 week

 

In addition to having a higher protein and fibre content compared to commercially available counterparts, the SmartBite snack bar is also considerably lower in fat. The product was developed to respond to all consumer segments requirements including vegetarians and vegans. Various savoury and sweet flavours of the snack bar prototype were subsequently developed by the team. 


Sensory trials carried out with consumers provided a positive feedback both on the palatability of the prototype and its acceptability as a healthy snack. After optimising the formulation, the prototype was subjected to a series of laboratory tests to ascertain its nutritional profile, safety and shelf-life. The product has also been registered under the trademark of Smartbite. 


 

The Nutritional Composition 
The team is currently approaching various SMEs involved in cereal production for potential partnership for the commercial uptake and upscaling of the product. So far they have partnered with DCF Roots to produce and market the product under ManioDix SmartBite. Cassava is also an important ingredient of this product.


For More info click here 

May 13, 2021

A National Consumer Survey on Food Safety, Food & Nutrition Security, Dietary Diversity and Physical Activity with Reference to the COVID-19 Experience

 

If you are interested in participating in this survey, you can access further information and the survey at https://forms.gle/rMechKG3y5AsB6zv5


If you are interested in participating in this survey, you can access further information and the survey at https://forms.gle/rMechKG3y5AsB6zv5

Oct 21, 2020

Launching of the Certifcate of Competency in Poultry Production

 

This Programme of Studies has been developed jointly with the Livestock Feed Limited Academy (LFL Academy; member of the Eclosia group). The Certificate of Competency is a tailor-made programme of study, for the LFL contract poultry producers. It covers all technical aspects of poultry production (broiler and table egg), from ‘farm to fork’. 
 
It aims at upgrading the competences of poultry producers to help them improve the efficiency and profitability of their production farms. It will empower the poultry producers to operate on a more ‘professional’ basis, whilst meeting the consumer demand for quality and safe poultry products.
 
In addition the poultry unit of the University Farm has been refurbished by the LFL academy. It will be used both for practicals sessions and research in the poultry sector.
 



 



Mar 5, 2020

Agriculture & Recherche: L’UE appuie l’UoM pour améliorer la recherche

Rs 15 millions de roupies, c’est la somme attribuée à l’Université de Maurice par le ministère de finances pour la création de l’Agri TECH Park. L'objectif est d'offrir une plate-forme de collaboration dans le secteur agro-alimentaire entre le milieu universitaire et diverses parties prenantes dans le développement de produits et services innovants. Ce mercredi 4 mars, la vice-première ministre et ministre de l’éducation Leela Devi Dookhun Luchoomun a procédé au lancement de l’Agri Tech Park en présence de l’ambassadeur de l’Union Européenne Vincent Degert.

Le deuxième volet de cette ceremonie était la signature d’un contrat de subvention de 20 millions de roupies entre Le Vice-Chancelier de L’Université de Maurice et l’Ambassadeur de l’Union européenne (UE); il vise à renforcer les capacités de recherche a la Faculte D'Agriculture de l’Université de Maurice afin d’identifier les produits agricoles mieux adaptés au changement et réduire l’utilisation des pesticides par les agriculteurs. Il s’agit du deuxième projet de recherche agricole dans le contexte du changement climatique que l’UE finance à Maurice, après la signature en février dernier d’un projet de 100 millions de roupies en faveur du FAREI. Lors du lancement du projet, l’Ambassadeur de l’Union européenne auprès de la République de Maurice, Vincent Degert, a déclaré: « Le partenariat entre l’Union européenne et l’Université de Maurice remonte à presque 50 années… L’Université de Maurice a en effet été l’un des tous premiers bénéficiaires d’un soutien européen dans les années 1970. En tant que partenaire fidèle sur lequel Maurice peut compter, nous restons aux côtés du pays en nous engageant de manière déterminée à lutter contre le dérèglement climatique et développer une agriculture intelligente à travers la recherche avec ce nouvel appui à l’Université.» Le projet lancé ce matin a pour objectif de renforcer les capacités de l’Université dans le domaine de la recherche afin de faciliter des pratiques agricoles plus saines tout en protégeant l’environnement. Il sera mis en œuvre par la Faculté de l’Agriculture durant une période de 3 ans. Il consiste à:

• Conduire des analyses moléculaires des pestes et des maladies à Maurice et à Rodrigues;

• Identifier des mesures – basées sur des technologies vertes – qui permettront aux agriculteurs d’utiliser moins d’engrais chimiques tout en maintenant leur rendement;

• Développer le curriculum en vue de lancer un diplôme en “science et technologie agricoles” (Agricultural Science and Technology) pour Rodrigues;

• Developper la filiere laitiere

• Identifier les mesures à prendre pour réduire le gaspillage des produits alimentaires.





Ces travaux de recherche représentent un moyen efficace pour adresser les multiples défis auxquels l’agriculture moderne fait face. Ils permettront aux agriculteurs de mieux s’adapter aux aléas climatiques et de produire plus et mieux en utilisant les mêmes ressources – avec une efficacité accrue. Ils permettront également de réduire l’utilisation de pesticides et autres additifs chimiques, garantissant ainsi la production de produits agricoles plus sains pour la santé des consommateurs.

Ce projet est financé au titre de l’initiative DeSIRA, lancée lors du One Planet Summit en 2018 et dédiée au développement de la recherche dans le domaine de l’agriculture face au changement climatique.

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