The two institutions play a key role in enabling sustainable agricultural practices in their respective countries
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has taken the lead in promoting a new partnership between two influential institutions – the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institution (FAREI) from Mauritius, and the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH) – to advance sustainable agricultural practices in their respective countries. This initiative is consistent with the Joint SDG Fund Project, which was launched in 2022 to encourage South-South cooperation between Mauritius and Seychelles in the area of climate-smart agriculture.
Given their shared status as Small Island Developing States, Mauritius and Seychelles are faced with similar challenges, particularly in terms of food security. Currently, Mauritius imports a significant proportion of its food supplies (77%), while Seychelles produces only a small fraction of the agricultural produce that it consumes (2.2%). Both countries are grappling with issues related to land scarcity and climate change, and must shift to more sustainable agricultural practices to enhance their food security. The Joint SDG Project has provided support to Mauritius to produce bio-fertilizers from seaweed, and sustained Seychelles’ efforts to adopt climate-smart agricultural techniques such as aquaponics, hydroponics, and sheltered farming to reduce its population’s reliance on imported food.
Sharing knowledge for climate-smart agricultural production
Following consultations on seaweed fertilisers in Seychelles last week, stakeholders from UNDP, FAREI and SIAH were convened to another peer-to-peer meeting in Mauritius on April 3, 2023. The meeting explored the potential benefits of enhancing collaboration between the two island nations in the area of agriculture and discussed the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FAREI and SIAH. The MOU, once drafted and validated, will potentially facilitate knowledge sharing between the two institutions and contribute to the development of more resilient food systems in both countries.
This series of exchanges held in Mauritius over 2 days, included visits to FAREI’s infrastructure, discussions with representatives from the Department of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius, and interactions with smart agriculture farmers, including beneficiaries of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme. This initiative represents a promising stride towards achieving greater food security in both countries, and underscores the power of collaboration and cooperation in advancing sustainable development.
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