On 13th July 2023, FAREI organised a restitution workshop in connection to bean seeds in the bean value chain in Mauritius, at the Voilà Hotel in Bagatelle.
The aim of the workshop was to deliberate on and validate the findings of a survey report on the bean sector conducted in 2022. The objective was to generate recommendations for enhancing the contribution of the bean seed sector to food security.
In her address, Mrs. Moheenee Nathoo, the Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, recalled that the CIRAD coordinates this regional project, which is funded by the European Union and receives support from the PREASN project led by SANOI for the period 2021-2025. She pointed out that beans are an effective source of protein, vitamins, and minerals and are widely consumed in Mauritius.
Mrs. Nathoo also mentioned that we import 13,000 tons of pulses, costing Rs. 390.7 million, and that 80% of our demand for bean seeds is imported. She emphasized the importance of increasing local production of bean seeds to meet our domestic needs, especially in light of rising import costs.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Micheline Seenevassen Pillay, recalled that the Ministry, in conjunction with FAREI, celebrated the international day of pulses. During the celebration, they placed emphasis on beans, which constitute only 9% of our pulse requirements.
Mrs. Pillay emphasized that FAREI has introduced over 200 varieties of beans and has released a biofortified bean variety called Ferrina, enriched with iron and zinc. This variety has shown promise for local cultivation. She also informed that a collaboration with Agricultural Services has resulted in the production of approximately 350 kg of its seeds. Some of these seeds have been distributed to Comoros and Seychelles for testing.
During the workshop, participants validated the findings of the bean seed value chain. Following a brainstorming session, they devised an action plan to increase bean seed production to a minimum of 2 tonnes annually by the end of 2025.