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Farming and Food
Mauritius, across the years, has been modernising its food and agricultural sector through implementation of priority research, development and training programmes and projects. One main organisation that has helped in this process is the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI), established in 2014, operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security. Its main objectives are to support and implement appropriate technologies for food security, and to enhance competitiveness, sustainability and stakeholder equity across the agri-food value chains.
The Animal Production Division of the Ministry, for its part, provides several facilities such as feeds, poultry breeding centres, and veterinary services.
The following departments are under the responsibility of Agriculture:
Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute
The Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) was established on 14 February 2014 as per the FAREI Act 2013 to take over the functions of the Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC) and the Agricultural Research and Extension Unit (AREU). It operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security. This restructuring is part of the Government Programme to reform Para-statals of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security with a view to improve the cost-effectiveness, quality of services and optimal use of human resources at both organisations.
The Institute has the responsibility to conduct research in non-sugar crops, livestock, and forestry and to provide an extension service to farmers in Mauritius including its outer islands.
Agro Industry
Animal (Livestock)
The main services provided by this division are as follows:
o Making livestock farming a worthwhile economic activity through the introduction of the best genetics and latest technologies.
o Advising and sharing information with all stakeholders concerned with livestock development.
Animal (Animal Welfare)
The Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare (MSAW) has been established under the Animal Welfare Act 2013 as replacement to the Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). The MSPCA was founded in 1958 with the objectives to promote kindness and to prevent or suppress cruelty to animals, to ensure animal's protection and conservation in the context of humane environment.
In 2013, the Animal Welfare Act has introduced new concept for pet owners and those responsible for domestic animals. The Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare (MSAW) is administered by a Council.

The MSAW's main objectives are:
• to promote the welfare and good treatment of animals; and
• to prevent animal cruelty.

The Animal Welfare Unit under the aegis of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security has also been set up to deal with issues like illegal breeding, cruelty or ill-treatment of animals. The inspectors of this specific unit can now give formal notices, warnings and even sanctions in some cases.
Small Farmers Welfare Fund
The main services provided by this division are as follows:
Manage and optimise its financial and other resources to further the social and economic welfare of small farmers and their families;
Set up and develop schemes and projects, including schemes for agro processing enterprises and schemes in respect of loans or other financial assistance, for the welfare of small farmers and their families;
Create special funds to operate any scheme set up by the Board and to receive contributions or other monies from small farmers or other sources;
Perform such other activity as appears to be necessary for, and conducive to the promotion of, the welfare of small farmers in general.
Farming Business
Bio Farming
The Government announced in the Government Programme 2015-2019 that it will take one of the key measures to promote natural farming and organic production. The National Budget 2015/16 also advocated that “Bio Farming will be one of the priority sectors under the SME Scheme with the introduction of a package of relevant incentives".
The Strategic Plan 2016-2020 for the Food Crop, Livestock and Forestry Sector launched by the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security also enumerated a set of measures so as to meet the Government’s vision for the promotion of Bio Farming.
Veterinary Services
The main services provided by this division are as follows:
Artificial insemination service for cows, on application at the headquarters or at any regional sub-office.
Pregnancy diagnosis for cows.
Treatment of animal diseases and difficult calvings for cows, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry.
24 hour service to the breeding community related mainly to cattle, goats, pigs and poultry. One veterinary officer is on call for attending cases which are referred to the division late at night.
Laboratory diagnosis of diseases at the Animal Health Laboratory at Réduit. Breeders of cattle, pigs and poultry may bring material(s) or specimen(s) (e.g sick or dead birds for investigation during office hours.
Sterilisation of animal products (e.g. animal hides, peacock feathers etc.) both imported or for export.
Sale of vaccines.
Distribution of drugs to all small livestock breeders both at the headquarter or at regional offices.
Pest Control
The main services provided by this division are as follows:
  • Prevention of entry and establishment of exotic pests
  • Research and development in safe and sustainable pest control programmes
  • Implementation of action programmes in plant protection
  • To protect the country’s agricultural economy and ecosystem from introduction and establishment of destructive pests, as a first line of defence
  • Monitoring and management of existing and newly introduced pests
  • Monitoring and management of existing and newly introduced pests
  • Maintenance and improvement of plant health
  • To promote biological control as a safer pest control method
  • To deliver plant protection services
Agricultural Chemistry Division
The Agricultural Chemistry Division provides services for chemical analysis of agricultural materials such as soil, plant, fertilisers, feed and fodder, compost, farm manure and water for various parameters like major and minor nutrients and nutritional composition.
The purpose of the chemical analysis is to help the growers (planters) and farmers to determine the soil fertility status of his land, the suitability of water for irrigation, the mineral status of plants/leaves/vegetables and the nutritional value of the animal feed and fodder.

The Agricultural Chemistry Division operates a laboratory, providing analytical support services (chemical analysis) to the agricultural communities and livestock breeders. The Agricultural Chemistry Division also issues licenses for the wholesale and retail sale of chemical fertilisers.
Horticulture Division
The Horticulture Division produces seeds of more than 30 species of vegetable crops for the planting community and general public. Seedcrops are grown on different stations of the Agronomy and Horticulture Divisions where strict and specific norms of production are met. After harvest, seeds are sent to Barkly Experiment Station for processing, testing, packaging and storage. Seeds with prescribed standard of germination are issued to different outlets, including Barkly E.S. for sale to the planting community and general public.

Seeds of certain crops such as bean, lettuce, and onion are sold on a voucher system whereby eligible growers are requested to contact their respective regional Extension Offices (FAREI) to procure the necessary voucher. Other vegetable seeds are sold in an open system to growers with cultivation area of up to 1 arpent (about 1 acre), above which a bona fide certificate from the Extension Service (FAREI) is obligatory.