Mauritius | Agro & Food

August 20, 2013

Agriculture: Onion "Spinning" Endangered

Grown mainly in the southeast of the island, Great Sandy and Little Sandy, Bamboo-Virieux and Four Sisters, onion "spinning", also called "local Zoyon" is endangered.

It would have gone a long time, it was the efforts of farmers in the region supported by the Food Self-Sufficiency Movement (MAA)."We struggle for twenty years to save this variety of onion grown in Mauritius for at least 150 years," says Eric Mangar, manager of the MAA. The most interesting, he said, is that farmers themselves produce their own seeds. "This allows them to preserve the genetics of this variety of onion. "Mr. Mangar believes it is important to help these farmers so that they can preserve the onion "toupie", "sinon li pu disparet", thinking about the future.

"Nou bizin kontinye gard li", says our interlocutor.At Grand Sable Ekwan Savetree, farmer long cultivates a small plot of land near the coast. Farmers in the region, he argues, have always earned their bread by growing this variety of onion. He no longer does now because the local onion is not really popular with consumers who prefer imported onions, "which cost less and are bigger. Mauritians do not have time on the way home at night to cut onions "spinning" to prepare their food. "

He added that "the router" is preserved longer, for ten months.Since Mauritians prefer imported onion, onion market "toupie" shrinks. But, says the farmer of Grand Sable, "seki konn valer toupi li pou rod so toupi." The variety router is highly sought by those who cook the biryani in large quantities, for example. "We do not produce more in quantity. Everything we produce, we sell in our same area, "he said. Unfortunately, he adds, consumers prefer quantity to quality. Regarding quality, Ekwan Savetree and farmers of "spinning" do not use chemical fertilizers.

They prefer the manure and compost they make from algae collected on the coast. "Worms are introduced into algae and work for a while. Then we pick them up and make the compost that we use in our plantations. The plants grow well and become more robust, "he made out. Eric Mangar added that the performance of the "spinning" is very good thanks to the compost. "We must not abandon the algae we must pick up and make compost with," he said.Ekwan Savetree indicates that local farmers produce their own seed.

"They also sold to others who work in other areas such as Belle-Mare, for example, hundreds of acres of land," he loose. Eric Mangar raises a big problem on seed production. "It depends on the bees that pollinate plants in the region. But we see the destruction of the habitat of these bees. This makes it difficult for seed production. " While admiring the rows of onions "toupie" it currently cultivates Ekwan Savetree loose "Pe dir ramas dan manze freezer power move tan, wear a pin bann me bizin prodikter lokal. This is important because we do not want to lose a part of our agricultural heritage. "

Text by Le Matinal
 

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