Sep 2, 2017

STUDENTS OF THE DIPLOMA IN FORESTRY (2017)

24 officers from the Forest Services of the Ministry of AgroIndustry and Food Security have joined the Diploma in Forestry offered by the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius this academic year 2017/18. Ia There is a good group interactions and willingness to help each other (e.g of Peer Teaching) to learn.

Lecturing to such a group of experienced and mature students is a good opportunity to  apply concepts of adult learning. Most of them participated actively in the class discussion, even though some of them tried to dominate the discussion.

They were keen to use Web 2.0 tools, although they did not realise that they are already using it.

Wish all of them a fruitful stay at the Faculty and happy learning to all!!!

Jul 15, 2017

Aperçu de la consommation des légumes a Maurice

Une Analyse critique de Mons. Jean Cyril Monty


La consommation locale de légumes frais s’est élevée à 115 000 tonnes en 2016 contre 97,000 tonnes en 2008 (+19 %), ce qui représente une moyenne de 88 kilos par tête d’habitant.

Du volume consommé en 2016, 90 000 tonnes (78 %) sont d’origine locale et les 25,000 tonnes restantes (22 %) proviennent des importations.

La valeur de la production locale des légumes frais, en 2016, est estimée à Rs 2,5 milliards contre Rs 1,8 milliard en 2008 (+39 %).

Tenant compte des différents postes de dépenses et des marges commerciales imposées par les intermédiaires, grossistes, distributeurs et détaillants, il est estimé que les légumes frais, produits localement, ont coûté aux consommateurs locaux la somme astronomique d’environ Rs 4 milliards en 2016 contre Rs 3 milliards dix ans plus tôt (+33 %). Ainsi, chaque Mauricien aura dépensé, en 2016, une moyenne de Rs 3 100 pour son approvisionnement en légumes frais locaux.

Les exportations

Les exportations de légumes frais, en 2016, ont été dérisoires, soit un volume de seulement 60 tonnes, ce qui représente 0,6 % de la production nationale. Il serait utile de faire ressortir qu’entre 2012 et l’année dernière, le volume exporté a chuté de 71 %.

Les légumes transformés

La filière de la production des légumes ne fournit pratiquement pas de matière première à l’industrie de transformation locale, qui n’a d’autre choix que de se tourner vers l’importation pour son approvisionnement.

En 2016, le pays a importé un volume de quelque 31 500 tonnes de légumes transformés, incluant pour les besoins de l’agro-industrie locale. Ce volume représente une hausse de 50 % par rapport aux 21 000 tonnes réceptionnées en 2008.

Ces chiffres font voir que Maurice suit les tendances des pays développés avec une consommation grandissante des produits transformés.

Will Biofarming supply healthy and safe products In Mauritius?


Sustainable agriculture is one of the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030. In Mauritius, the Ministry of Agro-industry has been working to this end by promoting bio farming and by encouraging planters to use less chemicals and more compost for quality products while reducing our carbon footprint. The strategy is paying off, Minister Mahen Seeruttun claims that 50% of planters have taken up bio farming. By 2030, most farmers would be using this method.

 

What is the current situation regarding bio food production?

Bio farming takes care of the environment and the biodiversity while ensuring food quality and safety. The concept of bio farming is new to most traditional farmers in Mauritius. The shift to bio production will be a gradual one. Farmers are gradually replacing chemical fertilisers and pesticides by bio fertilizers and bio pesticides. However, there are a few initiatives to pioneer organic food production, which is already under way.

SETTING UP OF AN ORGANIC FARM IN BRITANNIA, MAURITIUS



Government is committed to support sustainable agricultural development and organic food production for local market and increase export potential as well as diminish high reliance on chemical inputs.

The above statement was made yesterday by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic

Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, at the launching of the first organic farming zone at Britannia.
The Prime Minister recalled that for the development of this first organic zone of 66 acres, an amount of Rs 25 million has been allotted under Budget 2016-2017. He underlined that under the present demanding foodcrop production systems, planters rely 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, he said, adding that the promotion of sustainable and organic agriculture through innovations and environmentally safe practices will boost the agricultural sector.

According to Mr Jugnauth, Mauritius has to produce a certain minimum 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. The potential of producing organic fruits and vegetables exists in Mauritius, he stated and urged the youth to join and develop this sector with the help of new technology. Organic production can help us access viable and value-added markets to benefit from higher prices, he added.

Present on the occasion, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, announced that a regulation of organic farming is in the pipeline. He recalled the challenges faced by the community of planters due to climate change and stressed that his Ministry will always stand by their side to support them in various ways.

A second organic farming zone will be developed on 25 acres at Plaine Magnien as a result of the high response for organic projects, the Minister stated. He also listed out the different schemes proposed by his Ministry to encourage smart agriculture and organic farming systems for the production of safer and healthier food products.

Moreover at the same event, sixteen promoters of organic projects were handed their Lease Agreements and Bio-farming Development certificates.

May 15, 2017

Faculty of Agriculture at the International SME Innovation and Technology Fair 2017

The Faculty of  Agriculture participated at the International SME fair on 11 to 14 May at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. It was an opportunity to show case the technical expertise especially in novel technologies of agriculture, Bio-farming and other value added agri-business activities that the Faculty can leverage to support entrepreneurs in developing their capacities. For more info contact the Dean office at deanfoa@uom.ac.mu






Mar 6, 2017

Meaders Scholarship

Meaders Feeds
offre un stage rémunéré d’une année
à une étudiante de l’Université de Maurice


Workshop on Research Management, Research Uptake and Innovation



Workshop on
Research Management, Research Uptake and Innovation

 

                 Speakers: Prof K Mossanda (SARIMA) 

Prof B. Lalljee and Prof S. Facknath (Faculty of Agriculture)

 

Date: Tuesday 7 and 8 March 2017

 

Venue: Conference Room, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Mauritius, Reduit

 

 Organised by: Faculty of Agriculture and 

 

 Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA)

 

Organised by the Prof B Lalljee, SADC/SRIM Focal Point 

 


Feb 15, 2017

THOUGHT FOR FOOD CHALLENGE COMPETITION- PARTICIPATION OF 2 FOOD SCIENCE STUDENTS OF THE FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE


Dhanishta Meetoo teamed up with Manisha Bheeroo (BSc Food Science and Technology Alumni), one student in California and another one in London, to participate in the international Thought For Food Challenge.  Although, their team is not among the 10 selected finalists (there were 479 participants)  their participation is highly commendable and deserves a big applause. This is also a good demonstration of how they have used social media tools, freely available, to prepare their project. This is an example that ought to be followed by all of our students and staff alike.
Well done Team.
Click to view their submission




We are a team of international students with expertise in innovative agriculture, communications, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Kala studies management information systems in California and is focused on spreading unconventional ideas on sustainability. Dhanishta and Manisha are both food science students from Mauritius who are passionate about creative and innovative ways to tap into natural resources of their tropical homeland. Manisha had conducted scientific studies on the development and quality of jackfruit burgers in the Food Technology laboratory of the Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Mauritius, as part of the her final year dissertation for her undergraduate course in Food Science and Technology.Josephine studies global health and social entrepreneurship. She believes that food innovation can be a major catalyst for sustainable social change. Together we form a dynamic and international team, drawing insights from different culture and disciplines, with a single goal in mind - sustainable food innovations that leverage unexpected resources around the world.

Watch their submissio

Jan 29, 2017

Workshop on Creation of an institute of biotechnology in Mauritius



 
24 January 2017: A workshop to discuss the setting up of a National Biotechnology Institute, an initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, kicked off this morning at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis.
 
Present at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, stated that the country is now ready to transform itself into a high-income economy and innovation has been recognized, as the key driver of economic growth in terms of wealth generation and job creation. Biotechnology is one of the vehicles of innovation that could contribute positively towards this vision, he added.
 
According to him, Mauritius has so far been timidly involved in biotechnology and very few institutions are engaged in this sector. The Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute under the aegis of the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority, Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute and the University of Mauritius are the few institutions that address biotechnology in their research and development programme, recalled Mr Seeruttun.
 
Consequently we have not been able to tap the full extent of this technology, he stressed, adding that his Ministry is committed to redress this situation. In this context, the National Biosafety Committee was reconstituted in March 2015. This committee is an advisory committee set up to advise on all aspects concerning the importation, exportation, transit, development, research, production, use, application, marketing, sale and the release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or on any other matter concerning GMOs.
 
Actions to review the GMO Act 2004, which was only partially proclaimed in 2004, have been initiated stated the Minister and a revised draft of the GMO Act is already available. Moreover, the associated regulations to accompany this law are being finalised, he added. For Mr Seeruttun, all these initiatives will assist to protect human, animal and environmental health, protect consumers in making their choice regarding GMOs, and maintain an international quality and safety standards that facilitate trade.
 
Furthermore, the Minister announced that provision is being made for the setting of the National Biosafety Office in his Ministry to deal with administrative matters pertaining to Biosafety, GMOs and to cater for the enforcement of the law.
 
Application of biotechnology will be critical to help Mauritius meet the new challenges facing us such as climate change, new pests and diseases outbreaks and growing demands for food, feed, fibre and biofuels in the years to come, he said.
 
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org

The speech of the Minster is reproduced below.


Dec 22, 2016

SUSTAINABLE FOOD CHALLENGERS - An NGO set up by Alumni of the Faculty of Agriculture

Sustainable Food Challengers team members

Facebook  SustainableFoodChallengers/ 
Twitter twitter.com/sus_food_cha

Their Mission
Sustainable Food Challengers is a group of young dynamic and self-motivated youngsters aged between 22 to 25 years who aim at providing new sustainable solutions to meet the food security challenge. Each one in the group has their own expertise in the agricultural field. We are working together to revolutionise agriculture and set a new lifestyle to achieve global food security by maximising space use to cultivate crops through vertical farming using sustainable and renewable methods. The team also advocate the reduction of carbon dioxide emission and climate change.

Background
Sustainable Food Challengers team members are: Miss Jayshikha, Miss Anusha, Miss Naabilah and Mr Youdiesh. Some are fresh graduates while others have already started their career. The team members are deeply concerned about the amplifying facts that billions of people go to bed without food. we take the challenge of providing sustainable methods to feed 9 billion of people by 2050. Due to multiple factors: drought, loss of natural resources, industrialisation, flood, land erosion, and climate change conventional agriculture has been affected. So, we came up with new innovative ways to produce food using available renewable resources and less land which will be adaptable to the future. Keeping in mind all the limiting factors we came up with a new concept of green buildings. We are determined to take up the challenge and make use of our knowledge, skills and expertise to positively impact human lives. Each human being having access to safe and nutritious food at any time will become a reality soon. To most people agriculture can merely be getting dirty in the soil but for us it is a potential to feed billions of mouths. Together we can fight hunger and go for a greener and healthy world!

Dec 21, 2016

Conference du Reseau des Etablissements Agricoles a Ile Maurice

La 3ème conférence du REAP AAOI a eu lieu a la Faculté d’agriculture de Maurice du
28 au 30 novembre 2016. Le theme de cette conference etait « L’innovation et le développement des produitsde terroirs des territoires par les établissements agricoles membres du réseau REAP AAOI et leurs partenaires ».Voilà quatre ans que le réseau des établissements d’enseignement agricole professionnel de la région Afrique Australe Océan Indien a été créé.

 As an outcome of the many initiatives of the REAP-AAOI Network, the Network has been granted 'INTERREG V' funds up to year 2020/21 for funding partly the mobility of students studying professional agriculture (Bac+1, Bac+2 and BTS levels) between the french territory (Reunion and Mayotte) and the Southern African and Indian Ocean region, whereby agricultural educational institutions have signed the "Accord Cadre". UoM did sign same in 2014.

I am hopeful that each year, two of our students may acquire industrial placement during the period Jun - Jul in well-equipped French institutions of the region. On the other hand, we (or our partners e.g. FAREI, Medine Agriculture and others) have to accommodate two students from Reunion/ Mayotte. The placement supervisor will be based at the FoA. We are now working on the modus operandi of the mobility programme.


Pour des plus amples renseignments, contacter le coordonnateur local Mons. Navin Boodia n.boodia@uom.ac.mu