Ministry to Set Up Agri-Biotech Institute

9 years, 10 months ago - February 08, 2012
The Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security is considering setting up of a National Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at a cost of Rs 5 million.

“The setting up of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Institute follows the proposed reforms for the modernisation of agricultural sector to enhance its technological competency.

Provisions have been made for it in the Budget. It will provide for all the research and application of biotechnology in the non-sugar agricultural sector,” said the minister of Agro Industry, Satish Faugoo.

He highlighted that biotechnology plays an important role in the conservation of biodiversity. “With more than 57,000 hectares of land under forests, Mauritius will benefit from the application of biotechnology through plant breeding and tissue culture amongst others,” Faugoo said.

“We first need to set up a technical committee to review the feasibility of this project and then we can go ahead with it. The institute will be set up by the end of this year or in 2013,” he said.

According to him, the institute will ultimately provide enormous possibilities to address the most pressing constraints to the sector and sharpen Mauritius’ competitive edge.

“Once Mauritius has built up its technical expertise and developed the research facilities, there will be considerable potential to expand into regional markets,” said the minister. He reiterated the government’s vision to boost the agricultural capacity in Mauritius into a modern sophisticated technology in a view of strengthening competitiveness in domestic and export markets.

He also made reference to the possibility for Mauritius to contribute in the adoption of biotechnology within the African region and assist neighbouring countries in their respective biotechnology programmes.

Text by the Independent

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