Minister Gobin reiterates Government's commitment to encourage local production
Government still encourages local food production, through natural means by using less pesticides and chemical products, and will continue to provide subsidies to small food crop growers and farmers.
The Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, made this statement, today, following the launching by the Small Farmers Welfare Fund (SFWF) of the Subsidy on Agricultural Mechanisation, and the implementation of the enhanced Heifer Productivity Incentive Scheme, at Plaine des Papayes Multipurpose Complex.
The Parliamentary Private Secretary, Mr Rajanah Dhaliah, the Manager of the SFWF, Mr Roopesh Bheekarry, and other personalities were also present on this occasion.
Minister Gobin highlighted that the cash grant payable to breeders under the Heifer Productivity Incentive Scheme has increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,500 per calf. The grant, he stressed, is payable for each calf that the breeder has successfully bred up to three months, for a maximum of 30 weaned calves per year. A grant of Rs 500,000 has also been provided in Budget 2021-22 to operate the Incentive for Milk Production Scheme.
These two schemes, underlined the Minister, are meant for all cow breeders and aim at encouraging breeders to take better care of their animals, hence mitigating mortality rate and are in line with the policy of boosting milk and meat production.
Furthermore, he spoke about agro-processing, which is another priority of Government. He observed that mozzarella is produced locally, and this knowhow is transmitted to breeders through training centres at Mapou and Curepipe.
The Agro-Industry Minister also dwelt on how breeders and planters can operate in symbiosis, as the planters can use natural products, obtained from breeders, as fertilisers. He added that these natural products, which will contribute to the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ project, were also distributed to planters.
As far as the Subsidy on Agricultural Mechanisation is concerned, it is recalled that funding, amounting to Rs 5 million, has been provided in Budget 2021-22 to operate a Subsidy Scheme on land mechanisation. The aim is to facilitate the access of small planters to mechanisation facilities to enable the rapid transition to a more capital-intensive agricultural production system so as to address major challenges, such as shortage of labour. This will ensure the sustainability of agricultural businesses; improve farmers’ productivity, agricultural production and revenues; and foster National Food Security.
Planters would be eligible for Rs 1,500 per arpent for only one crop cycle, for a maximum of five arpents of land, on a first come first serve basis. The SFWF will resort to a Registration of Potential Suppliers (open advertisement) to request suppliers of agricultural mechanisation services around the island to provide their best fixed rates for the different operations for a one-year period.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.