Tea Sector Support Scheme: Distribution of fertilizer to tea producers in Grand Bois at no cost.

Under the Tea Sector Support Scheme (TSSS), 300 tea producers in Grand Bois received free fertilizer distribution yesterday. This initiative aims to boost their crop output.

Tea Sector Support Scheme

Notable Figures Present to Support Tea Sector Growth

Several known individuals were in attendance at the event. These included Dr. Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development; Dr. Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, Minister of Health and Wellness; Mr. Teeruthraj Hurdoyal, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security. Also present were Mr. Muhammad Ismaël Rawoo, Parliamentary Private Secretary, and Mr. Ashok Bundhoo, Chairman of the Small Farmers Welfare Fund (SFWF).

During his keynote speech, Minister Hurdoyal highlighted that the government’s objective of expanding the tea industry aligns with the distribution of fertilizers to tea planters. This effort is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and the Small Farmers Welfare Fund (SFWF). Minister Hurdoyal pointed out that the Tea Sector Support Scheme (TSSS) was initially implemented in 2016. Furthermore, it currently encompasses all registered small-scale tea growers, including free planters, cooperative members and metayers.

Since then, he remarked, the operators have received NPK fertilizer in the amount of 175 kg/arpent and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) in the amount of 100 kg/arpent every year. Additionally, he mentioned that the entire projected cost of fertilizers to be supplied for the 2023–2024 financial year is Rs 12.34 million. Approximately 983 registered tea growers are expected to receive these fertilizers.

Government Initiatives in Agricultural Development

Minister Hurdoyal praised the outstanding quality of tea produced in Mauritius. He acknowledged the hard work and perseverance of tea growers. He noted that the government is implementing several assistance programs to support planters and expand the industry. He pointed out that tea farmers face numerous obstacles. He discussed the Crop Loss Compensation Scheme, which aims to help farmers recover quickly from crop/animal losses caused by calamities or diseases. He also emphasized the Winter Allowance, designed to support tea planters in managing the reduction in tea leaf production during winter. Moreover, there is a Rs 10,000 grant allocated for the purchase of a Mini-Harvester.

Dr. Padayachy, on his part, focused on the many programs implemented to assist the planters. Also, he stated that the government supports the community of planters as a whole. The government offers several programs to farmers of vegetables, fruits, and flowers as well as sugarcane and tea. He focused on that the goal is to uplift them, sustain their means of subsistence, and stimulate the agriculture industry.

Regarding Dr. Jagutpal, he urged the young people to participate in agricultural activities and urged the planters to go on cultivating their land. Acknowledging the government’s efforts to support the industry, he stressed that it is a vital and timely area for growth. It is necessary for boosting regional food systems and providing young people with opportunities for meaningful work.

Support Programs for agriculture

Mr. Ashok Bundhoo, the Chairman of the SFWF, explained various schemes operated by the SFWF. These schemes include the Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme, providing a 50% subsidy on the cost of chemical fertilizers for one crop cycle to horticultural growers. There is also Bio Farming Support Scheme, offering a 60% subsidy on bio inputs for small planters. The Farmers’ Protection Scheme offers financial support to small planters for crop losses due to drought, cyclones, and excessive rainfall. It does provide assistance to cattle breeders for animal deaths caused by diseases too.

Tea Sector Support Scheme

The TSSS, introduced in 2016, provides free NPK and CAN fertilizers to small tea planters to help them fertilize their tea plantations. It as well increase production in line with the government’s goal of boosting the tea sector. Hence, the government has consistently funded the scheme for subsequent years.

The scheme operates through a voucher system. It grants a total of 1,866.84 tons of NPK and CAN fertilizers, amounting to approximately Rs 51,145,385.29 million, annually. This support benefits around 1,075 tea growers.


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