Speech on Agriculture Budget

Agriculture Budget

Respected Speaker, Sir,

I’m here today to discuss the Minister of Finance’s budget for 2024–2025. It is imperative that we evaluate the last ten years of the MSM administration and the course they have taken our country in as we approach the general elections.

Government's Green Initiatives

The government’s approach to sustainable agriculture clearly illustrates their inability to meet expectations. They have given us grandiose promises to alter our agricultural practices for the past ten years, but the real world shows a different story. The 2024–2025 Budget continues this trend, offering a well-known array of green initiatives that look impressive on paper but fail in terms of implementation and political will to effect significant change.

The Illusion of Organic Farming Subsidies

The government has consistently promoted organic farming subsidies as the solution to all of our agriculture problems. However, a closer look reveals that these subsidies are really just a smokescreen masking the government’s ongoing support of traditional, chemical-intensive agriculture. Progressive countries such as the Netherlands are investing heavily in green innovation and precision agriculture, whereas Mauritius is content to offer small discounts on pollutants, thereby incentivizing farmers to continue their damaging practices at a slightly reduced cost.

Pesticide Reduction Rhetoric

The government’s efforts to cut back on pesticide use are also quite disappointing. Despite many pledges to address this important problem, we have seen no real progress, no plan, and no hard limits. Instead, the uninterrupted sale of dangerous chemical inputs persists, and we encounter the same tired excuses. One cannot help but wonder if our decision-makers’ judgment has been influenced by the profits generated by the pesticide business.

Urban Agriculture

Moreover, the budget’s total disregard for urban agriculture is an enormously wasted opportunity. Cities all over the world are embracing this cutting-edge method of producing sustainable food by cultivating fruits and vegetables right in the middle of metropolitan regions. The government has once again shown its lack of vision and commitment to true agricultural reform by squandering this excellent opportunity.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mauritius. Our future starts today.

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