A Bee reserve zone and organic honey production, in view to boost the apicultural sector and promote sustainable agricultural development, were launched last week at Les Salines, Petite Rivière Noire. This initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security aims to further encourage beekeepers to fully explore and expand this potential sector.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, highlighted that apiculture should become an important sector of the economy and contribute in job creation and economic growth. He underscored that this project is in line with Government’s commitment towards promoting sustainable agriculture and safe food production in the country.
The Minister recalled that in view of promoting apiculture in Mauritius, an Agreement was signed last year between his Ministry and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology. In this context, he added, 17 000 melliferous plants have been planted in bee reserve zones in Bras d’Eau and Petite Rivière Noire. This measure, he added, will increase the productivity of honey and will also enhance the ecosystem.
Mr. Seeruttun also proceeded with the distribution of organic beehive and beekeeping kits to beekeepers. Last year, some 185 beekeepers were trained in beekeeping and 210 beekeepers received kits comprising organic beehive, hat and veil, smoke and hive tool.
With regards to organic honey production, the Minister pointed out that it involves environmentally smart agricultural practices, which endorses food security and food safety. He underlined that planters and beekeepers should conform to norms and conditions when they are engaged in organic food and honey production. He encouraged them to use more organic techniques and equipment rather than chemical products in local food production.
In a bid to give a boost to beekeepers, Mr. Seeruttun stated that his Ministry is working for the benefits and interests of beekeepers both in Mauritius and Rodrigues and that necessary support will be given to their endeavours but they should also tap opportunities for export.