Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources

Location
Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security
Renganaden Seeneevassen Building Cnr Jules Koenig & Maillard Str
Port Louis
Mauritius
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Telephone
(+230) 212 0854, (+230) 212 2940
Fax
(+230) 212 4427
Email
Email contact form
Website
http://agriculture.gov.mu
Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources

Mauritius is a small island of 1,965 square kilometers (186,475 hectares) tucked in the South West Indian Ocean, in latitude 20 degrees South and longitude 57 degrees east. To its west, at some 2,000 km is the African Continent, Mozambique and at some 855 km is Madagascar. In 2000, the population of Mauritius was estimated at around 1.2 million.

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Agriculture occupies around 44% of the arable land area. Land under agricultural production has declined drastically. In 2002, land under agricultural cultivation was estimated to be approximately 80,000 hectares, of which sugar accounted for 90%. tea 1%, other crops 9%.

The contribution of agriculture in the economy has decreased over the years from 23% in the late 70’s to 16% in 1983 and 6% in 2000. Sugarcane constitutes the bulk of this share with 53%. Food-crops account for 17%, livestock 12%, while flowers, fruits and forestry account for the remaining 4% of the share of Agriculture in the GDP.

From a mono-crop economy in early 1970s, Mauritius has transformed its economy: the main pillars of the economy are tourism, textile, financial and recently information technology has joined in.

Constraints in growth of agriculture

Mauritius suffers from a number of inherent constraints, including inter alia: a narrow domestic market, land scarcity and a high cost of production which keeps rising. However, within various existing regional economic platforms, Mauritius is looking forward to contribute toward a regional development agenda by investing in the region. Mauritius has already ventured in investing in agriculture in the region.

The Way Forward 2005- 2015

It is essential to recognize the changes in the status of agriculture over the past few decades. Agriculture has changed from being a Mauritian industry to become part of a ‘small-island-development-state’ industry and is now part of a global industry. Aware that agriculture, the primary process in the food-chain, needs an effective processing component supported by effective marketing structures if it is to maintain returns, farmers, growers and fishers have come to terms with being part of a demand oriented market and are now sensitized to produce what the customers want rather than what they want to produce.

The paradigm shift of citizens is more for quality services, which are convenient, cost effective and. sensible. Consumers now are increasingly discerning, demanding, vocal, and more knowledgeable about agro and agri products. One distinct consumer trend has been the switch to products considered healthier.

For the promotion of agro-industrial sector and further development of the agricultural sector, the way forward lies in joining hands with all our stakeholders, through concerted strategies towards achieving our goals in the sugar, non sugar and fisheries sectors.

The Roadmap for the Sugar Sector for the 21st Century published in September 2005 comes to lay the foundation for mitigating the difficulties being encountered in the sugar sector.

Classified as a Net-Food-Importing-Country, the broad policy objectives of the Sugar Sector seek to, focus on the preservation of a stable and predictable revenue for our food imports; to safeguarding the livelihood of small planters; and ensuring the optimization of value added of sugar and its co-products.

The six main Departments/Unit of the Ministry are:

  • Agricultural Services
  • Land Conversion Unit
  • Cane Planters and Millers Arbitration and Control Board
  • Forestry Service
  • National Parks and Conservation Service
  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden Trust
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