FAREI DeSIRA : Supporting Sustainable Agriculture for Improved Food Security and Safety in the Republic of Mauritius - Enhancing FAREI’s R&D Capacity for a Sustainable and Modern Agriculture

Project identifier 226-FAREI DESIRA
Project Status ongoing
Start date 2020-01-01
End date 2022-12-31
Roadmap Theme
  • Sustainable intensification: Identification and breeding of animals and crops to maintain/increase productivity
  • Sustainable intensification: Soil, water, land and input management
  • Cross-cutting issues: Integration of research and innovation activities
  • Type of Project Institutional capacity building project
    Programme DeSIRA
    Keyword academic curriculum development; landscape management; plant health; crop breeding; pest and disease management
    Location Mauritius
    Budget 2 579 000
    Main Funder Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)
    Co Funder Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI)
    Coordinator Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI)
    Documents Project description

    Description

    Objectives of the project

    The main objective is to foster innovation in agriculture through consolidation of the Research and Development capacity of the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension institute (FAREI)’s to address climate change challenges and development climate smart practices for sustainable production. The specific objectives are: 1) improve the level of food security and the contribution of agriculture to the economy in the country; 2) provide safe and quality food for the local population and for export; and 3) promote sustainable management of land, water and other natural resources.

    Background

    The agricultural sector (crop and livestock) is confronted with major challenges including high farm vulnerability to climate change. A decline in agricultural production by as much as 30% is projected in the National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework leading to concerns over food security by 2050. Climate change has often led to abandonment of agricultural land, decreasing land productivity, high pre and postharvest losses due to biotic and abiotic stresses. Livestock productivity is also affected, leading to reduction in farm revenue, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss and heavy reliance on importation of feed ingredients, agrochemicals and veterinary drugs. Moreover, to improve national food security, marginal lands in environment sensitive areas such as mountain slopes are being put under intensive agricultural production. In these rain-fed agricultural zones, climate change is expected to further exacerbate the adversities faced by farmers and breeders, in particular fodder availability. Thus, to maintain the sustainability of the agricultural resource base and farm productivity, there is need to develop capacity to cope with climate change and promote sustainable and climate smart agricultural production systems.

    • In this regard, a number of policy measures have been proposed for resilience to impacts of climate change on agricultural production, produced in several documents namely,
    • Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Development Process in the Agriculture Sector of the Republic of Mauritius in the context of the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) (2012)
    • Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) report (August 2013)
    • National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework (2012)
    • Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020 for the Food Crop, Livestock and Forestry Sectors (2016)
    • Nationally Determined Contribution (2015)

    Adaptation measures highlighted in the different policy documents address diversification of farming systems to include a range of crops and livestock particularly small livestock rearing and feed and fodder production and conservation technologies, integrated pest and disease management, biodiversity conservation; rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation system, sustainable land management and integrated soil fertility management, sheltered farming, organic farming, improved soil Carbon. Mitigation measures include management and reycling of agricultural wastes and residues (e.g. composting), crop-livestock integrated and agroforestry systems to enhance carbon sequestration.

    Main activities

    The project consists of upgrading research facilities through R&D in biotechnology and renewable biological alternatives to agro-chemicals, the setting up of a soil water and plant laboratory, the development and use of improved technology for optimising the utilisation of feed ressources and feed formulation packages, the development of sustainable pest and disease management practices, the development of data collection and dissemination system, the characterisation and utilisation of local animal genetic resources, the use of climate smart water saving technologies, the development of controlled environment glasshouse for breeding trials.

    The activities also include capacity building of researchers and professionals, development of training materials, and training of trainers.