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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius to harness blue economy to achieve high income status

Mauritius to harness blue economy to achieve high income status

Highlighting the huge potential and viability of ocean-based projects, Mauritius Trade Minister Arvin Boolell spoke of the Deep Ocean Water Applications project under which two companies, Sotravic Limited and Hitachi, will pump cold water from the deep ocean and use it for air conditioning requirements. (Image: Mauritius Attractions)

The ocean is a valuable asset that Mauritius can harness as the island economy leap-frogs to high income status, according to Mauritius Trade Minister Arvin Boolell.

Given its enormous potential, the government is going all out to channel the vast resource for economic development represented by the ocean, through its vision to make the blue economy one of the economic pillars of the island.

The minister made these statements last week at the harvest ceremony for a community-based seaweed farming in Mauritius at Grand Sable.

Also present at the ceremony were Higher Education Minister Rajesh Jeetah, Civil Service Minister Sutyadeo Moutia and the UN resident representative Simon Springett.

Highlighting the huge potential and viability of ocean-based projects, Boolell spoke of the Deep Ocean Water Applications project under which two companies, Sotravic Limited and Hitachi, will pump cold water from the deep ocean and use it for air conditioning requirements.

He stressed the importance of having the widest possible participation of the nation to succeed in this endeavour and urged everyone to seize the opportunities that are being provided to enter this new sector.

According to the minister, the government is providing a robust framework to make the Ocean State vision a reality.

“The Road Map of the ocean economy – which spells out the vision, goals and strategies for the development and expansion of this new pillar of the economy – has already been formulated and the blue-print will soon follow”, he said, adding that it is ultimately up to every citizen to make the Ocean State vision come to life.

Moreover, Jeetah and Moutia emphasised the economic potential and commercial viability of seaweed farming.

The two ministers further called on women of Grand Sable to join the community-based seaweed farming project, geared towards women empowerment, so that can earn an income and become economically independent.

The harvest ceremony for community-based seaweed farming was organised by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) in collaboration with the Grand Sable Women Planters Farmers Entrepreneurs Association (GSWPFEA).

For its part, the MRC has been providing technical assistance to the women association since September 2013 in setting-up a community-based seaweed farm at Grand Sable.

The GSWPFEA, grouping some 15 women who are mainly farmers or housewives, have undertaken a project ‘Enhancing the livelihood of Women at Grand Sable in response to climate change impacts.’

This initiative has been funded by the Australian Government (AusAID) for Community-Based Adaptation projects in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS CBA) and implemented through the UNDP Global Environment Facility Grants Programme (GEF SGP).

The main objective of the project is to empower the women community on alternate income-generating activities, such as seaweed cultivation and the production of value added products, cultivation of Vetiver, Cassava and other medicinal plants (Ayapana and Citronelle) and convert them to the advantages of using compost to help them meet the challenges of climate change and sustain their livelihood.

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