The Smart Approach to Agriculture


Importance of Smart Agriculture

In the realm of agriculture, there is a growing emphasis on consuming high-quality and safe vegetables. Central to this concept are farmers, pivotal figures who must embrace intelligent farming practices. The adoption of agroecological principles stands out as the cornerstone to achieve this objective.

The Smart Agriculture Project

The Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture (MCA) has taken proactive steps by launching the Smart Agriculture Project. This initiative targets vegetable cultivators to minimize their reliance on harmful chemicals. A crucial initial phase involved evaluating the practices of 300 vegetable growers across Mauritius in 2015. The findings highlighted the excessive use of pesticides and a lack of knowledge among farmers regarding sustainable alternatives.

Journey of the Smart Agriculture Project

In response to these findings, a group of 13 forward-thinking vegetable growers embarked on a transformative journey toward sustainable agricultural practices. Collaborating with local and international experts, the MCA propelled the Smart Agriculture project forward from 2017 to 2023. Through comprehensive training, farmers were guided to transition from conventional methods to Smart Agriculture.

Aim of the Project

Subsequently, agronomic practices at each farm were revamped to prioritize reducing synthetic pesticide usage and mitigating environmental impacts. By monitoring Treatment Frequency Indices (TFI), farmers maintained meticulous records of field operations to track progress. Additionally, farmers received fully funded equipment and materials to support their transition, including innovative tools like rotovators, weeders, and crop diversification strategies.


The tangible outcomes of these efforts were evident in the fields, as demonstrated during the 2022 assessment. Notably, there was a significant 57% average reduction in TFI among the 10 monitored crops. Economic evaluations further showcased promising results, with beneficiaries witnessing a doubling of their annual net margins over three years.

Quality Before Appearance

While Smart agricultural practices may yield aesthetically unconventional produce, the emphasis remains on quality beyond appearance. The project aims to cultivate a shift in mindset among stakeholders to appreciate the nutritional value of these “ugly” vegetables. Importantly, Smart Agriculture necessitates an expansion of its influence beyond individual farms.

Measures to Promote Smart Agriculture

To propel Smart Agriculture into the future, the MCA launched the Karo Natirel(meaning Natural Field in Mauritian Creole) initiative in its third phase. This phase focuses on promoting environmentally friendly farming practices and educating consumers on the benefits of nutrient-rich, visually unique vegetables. By fostering a differentiated distribution channel, this project seeks to bridge the gap between conscientious farmers and informed consumers in embracing sustainable agriculture practices.

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