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Mauritius: In the context of the World Pulses Day 2023, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) organised, today, an exhibition on bean-based products such as flour, burger, crackers and energy bar at the esplanade of the Renganaden Seeneevassen Building in Port Louis. A booklet on production of quality bean seeds was also launched on the occasion.

The Attorney General and Minister of Agro Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Mauritius and Head of Delegation, Mr Vincent Degert and the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the FAREI, Mrs M. Seenevassen Pillay and other personalities were also present at the opening ceremony of the World Pulses Day 2023 event.

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Speaking at the event, Minister Gobin highlighted the importance of pulses in Mauritian dishes owing to their nutritious, environmental and economic value as well as their conservation period. In a bid to encourage more local production of pulses, he pointed out that for financial year 2020/2021, the annual importation turned around 12 600 tonnes of pulses amounting to some Rs 420 million.

He also seized the opportunity to extend satisfaction to partners such as the EU and the Indian Ocean Commission to supporting Mauritius in its endeavour to promote locally produced crops. The Minister invited the public to benefit from the exhibition so as to gain more awareness on the health and environmental benefits of pulses.

As for Ambassador Degert, he reiterated the EU’s support to Mauritius through initiatives such as the regional food and nutritional security programme which is namely the Food-Sec Semence. This programme, he indicated aims to boost a value-chain of healthy and adapted seeds and seedlings in the South-West Indian Ocean.

The Acting CEO of FAREI, for her part, underlined that in line with government policy to enhance the level of self-sufficiency, ensure food and nutrition security and substitute imports, research activities were undertaken on the introduction and evaluation of new bean varieties for pulse production.

“More than 200 bean varieties were introduced from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)”, she said, adding that the Ferrina variety was found promising in terms of yield, adaptability and quality of seeds with good consumer acceptance. She also dwelt on the health benefits of pulses comprising fibre, low fat, protein, vitamins and minerals.

 

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