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 News - 01-Nov-2013

World Food Day Events In Mauritius

The recent 'World Food Day' focussed this year on 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition', a subject close to the hearts of the Mauritius government. As a result of this, the Ministry of Afro-Industry and Food Security has run a series of events on the island nation to allow the islanders to access useful agricultural information and purchase plants and poultry.

All of the agricultural centres of the Ministry of Afro-Industry and Food Security held ‘open-door’ events for the public, encouraging those interested to visit their premises and learn about their functions. Exhibitions of plants and agricultural products were available for viewing as well as being for sale at reduced prices. Cow breeding information was offered at La Brasserie Centre, Curepipe, while the Veterinary service demonstrated artificial insemination techniques.

World Food Day 2013

World Food Day was created to help increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger in the world. Almost 870 million people on the planet suffer from malnutrition due to food shortages. In a bid to resolve the problem, unsustainable methods of food production have degraded the natural environment, threatening ecosystems and biodiversity required for food supplies in the future.

A food system is made up of the environment and the people in it as well as the institutions and processes involved in the production, processing and transporting of agricultural products. Each aspect of the system has an impact on the final availability of nutritious foods, and therefore affects the consumer's ability to choose a healthy diet. World Food Day 2013 focussed on questions involving what a suitable and sustainable food system looks like, as well as exploring the changes involved to enable a country to move towards a sustainable future.

Farming in Mauritius

Sugarcane occupies over a third of Mauritius' total land area but has diminished in recent years as manufacturing and tourism have grown, and leisure facilities have taken up land for sports like golf. The island is now enormously popular for Mauritius golf holidays. Tea production is also on the decline and while many crops can be grown on Mauritius, a shortage of land means that nearly all cereals have to be imported, including the island’s staple food rice.

2012 saw an increase in garlic and onion production but the cattle industry, although benefiting many of those involved including cattle feed suppliers, equipment suppliers and bureaucrats, has yet to produce any benefits for the breeders themselves. It is hoped that the advice given at the recent events and new plans to improve agriculture on Mauritius will help towards a more sustainable future.

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