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AfricaMoney | September 21, 2017

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Livestock sector to reinvent to reduce imports & help Mauritius achieve self-sufficiency

Livestock sector to reinvent to reduce imports & help Mauritius achieve self-sufficiency

The livestock sector, especially the production of meat and milk, constitutes an important economic pillar for the Mauritian economy, and, in order to achieve its true potential, this sector needs to undergo a drastic change, moving from the present archaic system to the professionalisation of its activities, helping the island economy achieve self-sufficiency in food production.

 A validation workshop for stakeholders of the Livestock Policy and Action Plan 2015-2020 was recently held at Voila Hotel in Bagatelle by Mauritius’ Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, in order to help the island economy move towards a smart livestock sector.

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, stated that the aim of his Ministry is to develop the livestock sector to boost local production and marketing of milk, meat, poultry and related value-added products, thereby increasing the self-sufficiency of the island economy in food production, as well as enhancing the livestock sector’s contribution to the national economy.

According to the Minister, the livestock sector, especially the production of meat and milk, constitutes an important economic pillar for the state. But this sector had been neglected far too long, he said, adding that it must witness a drastic change, moving from an archaic system to the professionalisation of its activities. This will help the sector achieve its true potential whether in dairy or meat production, covering beef, sheep, pigs, goats and chicken.

Another sub-sector to develop on a large scale and which will surely strengthen this economic pillar is the breeding of turkeys, ducks and rabbits.

Mauritius has become very dependent on imports whether encompassing the production of milk or meat. The Livestock Policy and Action Plan 2015-2020 proposes strategies and actions to reverse this trend, given the pressing need to act quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, the minister announced the construction of a modern slaughterhouse and a National Wholesale Market in Belle-Rive costing Rs 223 million and Rs 370 million respectively.

He also noted that some 300 acres are being identified for the commercial exploitation of livestock, adding that these plots of land, equipped with the entire necessary infrastructure such as water, electricity and access facilities, will soon be placed at the disposal of entrepreneurs.

“The Government can only act as a facilitator. It is now up to entrepreneurs to seize every opportunity to revive the livestock sector, which is an important pillar for wealth generation, growth propulsion and job creation for Mauritius,” he stressed.

Finally, the Government of Mauritius expects the livestock sector to record a real boom in the coming years. Therefore, there is a need to reinvent our way of working and become more enterprising, the minister noted.

This sector has enormous potential since it can help the country reduce its import volume, create direct and indirect jobs, and assist the island economy in achieving a desirable level of self-sufficiency in the production of milk and meat, concluded the minister.

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