Mauritius | Agro & Food

February 09, 2012

Assistance to Small Farmers: Rs 8 Million to Manage the Stages of Post-Harvest

Is planned to build four centers with facilities that will enable small farmers to raise the quality of their products.

Difficulty in raising the level of their standards of quality and competitiveness is one of the biggest challenges small food farmers are facing. The Cabinet has approved a plan to fill that void.

The plan is to establish four centers whose main mission will be to strengthen the capacity of these small producers to master the steps of the post-harvest. Which is, among other things, to fix installations for carrying out various tasks such as the establishment of grades of quality, the establishment of minimum process, storage as well as the packaging of fresh produce the farm.

Difficulty controlling the steps of the post-harvest causes losses estimated at between 30% and 60%, according to a document from the press service of the Ministry of Agro-Industry. Moreover, this handicap pushes small producers manage the crops according to traditional practices. Unfortunately, they are not very effective and do not help them to move comfortably in markets where factors such as competitiveness and productivity needed new challenges.

Losses due to inefficiency in the steps of the post-harvest causes other consequences which a waste of agricultural inputs, a shortfall because this activity represents for many a livelihood, a disability that impairs the possibility investment and a waste of scarce resources such as water.

The first center will be established at Rouge-Terre near Fond-du-Sac. The other three centers are respectively the L’Espérance (Quartier-Militaire), St-Hubert et Mare-d’Albert. The center will be established in localities where the producers are grouped into clusters.

The cost of setting up a center is between Rs 2 million to Rs 3 million. This cost depends on the range of goods, that small producers in the region where the center will be established are able to produce and their production volume.

Funding for this project will be provided with a budget of Rs 8 million from the Ministry of Agro Industry under its food security cluster.

Text by lexpress.mu
 

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