A two-day forum aiming at transforming the agricultural sector into an agribusiness hub for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development in Mauritius, kicked off this morning at the Intercontinental Mauritius Resort in Balaclava in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, and other eminent personalities.

In his address, Minister Seeruttun underlined that in the wake of alarming challenges faced by the agricultural sector, it is high time for Mauritius as a Small Island Developing States to re-engineer the sector by fully tapping the potential of agribusiness. Agribusiness, he emphasised, can pave the way to a modern and resilient agriculture by fostering competition, innovation, research and development. He further pointed out that the agribusiness will provide opportunities for inclusive economic growth and sustainable livelihoods as well as ensure food security.

He underscored that the development of agribusiness for local and international markets is in line with the strategic plan 2016-2020 and is expected to provide resources for other sectors such as education, health and poverty alleviation. He underpinned the need to develop an agribusiness park as a means to bring together agricultural players into a common platform. The agribusiness park is likely to attract international expertise, Foreign Direct Investment and enhance marketing strategies, he added.

The Minister recalled that the forum is an initiative of the India-Mauritius Global Partnership Conference hosted in July 2016 which regrouped several professionals, potential investors and stakeholders of the business community from India and Mauritius. He highlighted that India is undoubtedly a glaring example as it has a blend of technology, management practices, marketing and innovation as regards the agricultural sector.

For his part, the Chairman of the India-Mauritius Trade and Cultural Friendship Forum, Mr Pritpal Singh, emphasised that the forum will help create new avenues for an enhanced public-private partnership among agribusinesses. He added that the forum regroups key players of the agricultural sector from both countries with a view to discuss the way forward for the development of agribusiness and the setting up of agribusiness park.

The Forum

The event which is organised by India-Mauritius Trade and Cultural Friendship Forum is being attended by some 100 local and international participants who are involved in the agricultural sector. It will enable participants to familiarise themselves with a number of thematic areas such as natural resource management, technological innovations, crop improvement and protection technology, use of technology in the livestock sector, marketing and trade and post-harvest amongst others.

Source: Government of Mauritius