Strategic options for the non sugar sector

> Strategic options for the non sugar sector

[posted 31/8/07]

Strategic options in Crop Diversification and Livestock sector 2007-2015

 

The ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries has launched in August a comprehensive program for the development of the non-sugar agricultural sector. The definition of such a strategy has become essential in view of the many changes brought about by the restructuring of the sugar sector, but also the need to review the Non-Sugar Sector Strategic Plan (NSSSP) 2003-2007 and our food policy given namely our increasing reliance on imports and projected tourist arrival in the coming years.  

 

The program takes into account Government policy for promoting access to agricultural land, agribusiness, good agricultural practice, innovative production methods, improving food quality and safety, reducing dependency on import, promoting export, and ensuring food security.

 

The overall goal is to significantly increase food and agricultural production in a competitive and sustainable manner by the year 2015 through innovative production methods, novel products development while opening access to new markets. Opportunities, land suitability, production targets, implementation plan, capital requirement, and accompanying measures have been identified for a number of key commodities such as potato, tomato and onion but also for those crops having a promising potential (aloe vera, aromatic herbs, palmshoot and pitaya).

 

On 21 August 2007, the ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries launched a consultative workshop on the program, to which stakeholders of the non-sugar agricultural sector were invited to participate and share their views before finalizing the action plan.

 
Expected output of the program

1.  Meeting the domestic demand for vegetables on a continuous basis and achieving at least 70% sufficiency in certain key commodities.

2. 10% sufficiency in milk and meat production by 2015

3. Food import bill reduced

4. Increased agro-processing activities with constant supply of primary materials

5. Increased access to land

6. Increased mechanisation and use of technology

7. Increased production of tropical and exotic fruits

8. Availability of planting materials on a regular basis

9. Improved post harvesting practices

10. Adoption of a commercial and competitive approach towards farming

11. Improved food safety practices

12. Export market for selected fruits, vegetables and ornamentals developed

13. Improved communication and marketing

14. Improved extension service delivery

15. Efficient integrated pest management in place

16. Increased service provision in the agricultural sector