The Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, effected a site visit, today, at La Marie, Chaperon, to take stock of the impact of heavy rainfall on potato production in the central region. The aim was also to listen to grievances of planters whose fields were affected by the recent excess rainfall.
In a statement, Minister Gobin highlighted that the planters present during the site visit are members of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Association (ADMA) and mainly cultivate potatoes, as well as onions and carrots. He pointed out that the region was greatly affected in April due to unprecedented heavy rainfall. Planters encountered losses as the majority of potato seeds were already planted and got washed away due to the adverse climatic conditions, he said.
Furthermore, he underscored that most of the potatoes that could be harvested were already rotten due to the excess of water in the soil and observed that some are smaller than the normal size. He acknowledged that planters sometimes have to face a harsh reality caused by heavy rainfall.
Furthermore, the Agro-Industry Minister informed that members of ADMA seized this opportunity to express their grievances pertaining to the storage problems that they currently face in the cold room of the Agricultural Marketing Board. He added that they have also made an appeal to be provided with an office in a building of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, and which is currently not being used.
Minister Gobin reassured ADMA members that a site visit will soon be carried out at the said building to see how it can be converted into an office and added that prices being charged for their produce will be reviewed. He also stated that Government will support and encourage local production of vegetables.
It is to be noted that ADMA has some 60 members that cultivate around 450 arpents of land and produce about 12,000 tons of vegetables annually. ADMA became a member of the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture in 2010.