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. Its aim was to deliberate 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. Mrs Moheenee Nathoo, Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, recalled in her address that this regional project, coordinated regionally by the CIRAD, is funded by the European Union and benefits from the support of the PREASN project led by SANOI for the period 2021-2025. She mentioned that beans are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals and that they are extensively consumed in Mauritius.
She further stated that 13 000 tons of pulses are imported at a cost of Rs. 390.7 million, and that 80% of our demand for bean seeds is imported. She emphasized that, with the rise in import costs, among other things, it is critical that we enhance local production of bean seeds in order to meet our local demands.
Mrs Micheline Seenevassen Pillay, Acting Chief Executive Officer, recalled that the Ministry, in collaboration with FAREI, commemorated International Pulse Day, with a focus on beans, which account for only 9% of our pulse requirements.
Mrs Pillay emphasized that FAREI has developed over 200 bean varieties, including the biofortified bean variety Ferrina, which is high in iron and zinc. This variety has been discovered to be promising for local agriculture. She stated that 350 kg of seeds were developed in partnership with the Agricultural Services, and that some seeds were given to Comoros and Seychelles for testing.
The findings of the bean seed value chain were evaluated during the workshop, and an action plan was established following a brainstorming session to grow bean seed output to a minimum of 2 tonnes annually by the end of 2025.