Mauritius | Agro & Food

March 22, 2013

Agriculture: "Increasing the Production of Onion and Garlic to Reduce Imports," Said Satish Faugoo

The Minister of Agro Industry Satish Faugoo think it is necessary to increase the production of onion and garlic to reduce the importation of these products.

"There is a market of Rs 25 million to Rs 30 million to make. It is a matter of national interest. So there is no reason not to succeed, "he said this morning at a workshop on domestic production of onion and garlic.

According to Satish Faugoo, the country had produced a total of 11 500 tonnes of onion in 2000 but only 5,600 tonnes in 2005, representing a decrease of 58%, whereas it was necessary to increase production. In 2012, production reached 7,300 tonnes, but the minister wants it touches very quickly the level of 2000. "I do not foresee any difficulty in this. I think we can do as we did for the potato, "is it out.

The Minister indicated the need to increase the area devoted to the production of these two vegetables "but it is not as simple. "We must also think of post-harvest facilities, the problem of storage and planning," he said. This is also the case, he adds, for export, "even seasonal" and production in countries in the region where land is available.

The government advance Satish Faugoo can not engage in the production of onion and garlic, but can become a partner of private producers. "The government has set up a fund for food security with a budget of Rs 1 billion. In some countries, governments have been overthrown because of the food crisis. We do not want it here, "he says.

Giving details of assistance plans in place for producers, the Minister cited the Seed Purchase Scheme which has benefited about 217 growers and the establishment of 13 units for curing garlic and the granting of 40 % of growers grant for the creation of curing units. Not to mention, the grant of Rs 40 million on the price of compost and the same amount for the construction of infrastructure in vegetable crops.

For his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Nowbuth Ramprakash believes that producers should learn from the past to chart the way forward. "It will be a failure if we do not increase our output by 5 to 10%. We need to achieve food self-sufficiency, "he says. Throughout the day today dozens of producers gathered at straws discuss the import of seeds and onion potato, agri-business, the production of last year's program research and development, among others.

 

Text by Le Mauricien
 

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