Following a request from the Chamber of Agriculture, the EU Commission in Mauritius has approved to finance partly an agricultural diversification study on the setting up of a marketing unit for table potato, deer meat and palm cabbage respectively and of a processing unit for deer meat and palm cabbage. The project is expected to create the required environment to enable these sectors exploit competitive and comparative advantages at local, regional and international levels. The study is due to be completed by the end of July 2004.
Since a number of years now, the Chamber has been encouraging its members who are involved in the same commodity production, to regroup themselves into filières in order to build on the advantages that can be derived from such practice at various levels of the production chain. Grading, labelling, processing, post harvest technology, storage, marketing, etc. are a few examples of product specialisation which can thus be achieved as a result of the possibility to handle a sufficient critical mass. Three filières that have good development prospect in Mauritius (table potato, deer meat and palm cabbage) have up to now been set up.
This filière approach is based on a more dynamic and market-oriented agricultural sector, as advocated in the 2003-2007 Non Sugar Sector Strategic Plan (NSSSP) which the Ministry of Agriculture launched in April 2003. Indeed, the implementation of the agricultural diversification project would not only foster job creation but also help the respective filières reduce production cost, optimise their production capacity, embark into processing, increase the competitiveness of their produce, and reduce the country’s dependency on food imports, especially table potato.