Rodrigues mobilizes growers to address Mauritius’ veggie shortage

address Mauritius
  • Expected shipment on March 2
  •  Island to produce 1,000 tonnes

Rodrigues: Mauritius' Vital Food Reserve

Mauritius’ ideal food reserve, Rodrigues, is offering assistance to farmers during vegetable scarcity. Moreover, the island is willing to cooperate with the Agricultural Marketing Board to provide high-quality, fresh goods without GMOs and chemical inputs. Additionally, Commissioner Louis-Ange Perrine guarantees that the veggies being shipped to Mauritius on March 2nd are from a harvest using organic fertilizer. Furthermore, the island’s 2,500 hectares of agricultural area are ready for use.

Arrival of Lemons from Rodrigues

Mauritius received 7,000 lemons instead of anticipated giraumon, lalos, and watermelons from Rodrigues, causing a protracted vegetable shortage. However, despite their popularity, Mauritius will now offer consumers the opportunity to purchase various fruits and vegetables, such as eggplants, from Port-Mathurin starting in March.

Commissioner's Statement on Lemon Shipment

According to the Agriculture Commission, Commissioner Louis-Ange Perrine stated that the boat left Rodrigues last Tuesday and had the capacity to carry up to 100,000 units of lemons. However, managing that much citrus fruit would be difficult for the Agricultural Marketing Board (AMB). On March 5, the boat is scheduled to depart Port-Maturin and sail thousands of lemons to Mauritius. Subsequently, it is scheduled to dock in Mauritius on March 7, which is the day of the Commissioner’s expected business visit to the country, if all goes according to plan.

Upgraded Agricultural Exports from Rodrigues

Rodrigues’ agricultural exports to Mauritius in March will have a new approach. Additionally, Louis-Ange Perrine stresses selecting fresh, high-quality produce from organic farming. They aim to avoid using Mauritius as a dumping ground for unsold vegetables. Furthermore, growers interested in exporting their produce should register with the commission via a press release, with about 50 planters expected to participate.

Enhancing Vegetable Selection

In March, a board member from the Agricultural Marketing Board will visit Rodrigues to participate in vegetable selection and improve communication with the Agriculture Commission. The commissioner promises that exporting Rodriguan vegetables won’t penalize the Port-Mathurin market and local consumers. The cost of market garden products will depend on anticipated vegetable supply.

Current Vegetable Prices

The cost of vegetables in Rodrigues has increased, with lettuce retailing at 60 rupees, beetroot at Rs 125, and candied apples at Rs 180. 38-year-old Michaël Jolicoeur, a planter, aspires to export produce to Mauritius. The Commissioner of Agriculture believes middlemen’s influence affects market prices, as they gather vegetables from planters and sell them to market sellers.

Introducing the Sunday Market

The commission organizes a Sunday Market in Terre Rouge to circumvent the issue of middlemen and provide Rodriguans with an inexpensive means of purchasing vegetables. Farmers sell their excess veggies directly to the general public at this Sunday market, with plans to expand to two more settlements on the island.

Rodrigues Agriculture

Commissioner Louis-Ange Perrine states that Rodrigues’ farmers have shown interest in 2,500 hectares of agricultural land, with incentives acknowledging that agriculture involves more than just raising food crops. The agricultural industry employs a broader range of workers, reducing unemployment and promoting careers based on land. Rodrigues intends to produce 1,000 tonnes of onions for Port-Louis to reclaim the Mauritian market.

Water Reservoir Success

Rodiguan planters and Mauritian farmers have benefited from rain, despite crop damage. The island’s climate supports agriculture, and hill reservoirs in valleys have proven valuable. Authorities have encouraged farmers to participate in constructing these systems. Port Sud-Est’s 6000 m3 hill reservoir is now 100% filled, marking a significant achievement for the island.

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