A culinary competition and exhibition gathering 70 female participants were held yesterday at the City Council of Port-Louis, in the context of the 50th Independence Anniversary of Mauritius in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun and the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus. The objective of the initiative was to highlight and celebrate the contribution of women in the agriculture sector.

In his address on the occasion, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, underpinned the key role of the agricultural sector in the development process of Mauritius, which now, he emphasised, forms the backbone of the economy. He added that Government is striving to boost the performance of the sector and envisions transforming the agricultural sector into a vibrant sustainable industry.

Minister Seeruttun stressed that women have played an important role in the reinforcement of the sector as they constitute more than two-third of the agricultural workforce. He also highlighted the need to give new impetus to the sector which requires the new generation to take over and join the new ventures of the sector. On that note, he recalled that various policies aiming at further consolidating and strengthening the agricultural sector to render it more responsive to the needs of the changing socioeconomic landscape of Mauritius have been elaborated.

One such policy, he said, is the Young Entrepreneur Scheme that provides meaningful support and opportunities to young entrepreneurs. He pointed out that the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute offers training and technical assistance to those who want to undertake activities in the sector.

For her part, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, highlighted that women are important pillars of the economy and have a longstanding contribution to the socioeconomic progress of the country. The large presence of women in the agricultural sector indeed demonstrates their potential to be the key drivers of the economy, she added.

She further underscored the immense progress made by women in the society in different fields including agriculture. She underlined that the promotion of gender equality are central to all activities undertaken by the Government and in this respect Gender mainstreaming strategies have been established to achieve the goal of leveraging women as empowered members of the society. She recalled that in line with the National Gender Policy Framework of 2008, which calls upon all Ministries to engender their respective policies, Government introduced the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative for which an amount of Rs 200, 000 was allocated to five Ministries.

Source: Government of Mauritius