AGRICULTURE : APPEL A DES PROJETS POUR FAIRE FACE AUX CHANGEMENTS CLIMATIQUES
Mahen Seeruttun, ministre de l’agro-industrie et de la Sécurité alimentaire, lors d’une conférence de presse le jeudi 29 juin, a fait ressortir que le secteur agricole est grandement exposé aux changements climatiques. Dans cette optique, l’Union Européenne a offert une aide financière de 3 millions d’euros pour la période de 2017-2022 pour des projets visant à protéger le secteur agricole par rapport aux changements climatiques.
Un appel à propositions pour des projets est ainsi lancé sous le « European Union Global Climate Change Alliance Flagship Initiative. » Les bénéficiaires seront soutenus par rapport aux projets relatifs au changement climatique. Ils obtiendront entre 300 000 et un million d’euros et le montant sera entre 50% et 80% du coût total des projets. Ceux qui pourront bénéficier de cette aide financière sont : les planteurs individuels (qu’ils soient en groupe aussi), les organisations parapubliques à Maurice et à Rodrigues de même que des ONG.
Les intéressés pourront consulter le siteweb de l’Union Européenne à partir du lundi 3 juillet prochain. La date limite pour la soumission des propositions est fixée au 6 octobre 2017. Le ministère de l’Agro-industrie assurera, pour sa part, l’assistance technique pour le suivi des projets.
Ci-dessous le discours du ministre Seeruttun :
“I am pleased to welcome you and to thank you for your presence at this afternoon joint press conference for the launching of the Call for Proposals under the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance Flagship Initiative.
I recall having been approached by a representative of the European Union Delegation some time in 2015 regarding the availability of a sum of 3 million EUROs to finance small projects in the agricultural sector to mitigate the effects of climate change.
I understand that several meetings have since been held to discuss the modalities for the implementation of this programme.
It is indeed a pleasure for me to note that all arrangements have now been completed for the launching of the programme.
As you are all aware, the agricultural sector is highly exposed to climate change, as farming activities directly depend on climatic conditions.
Extreme climates can cause crops to fruit early, late or not at all, thus affecting food crop production and also farmers income.
High temperatures cause heat stress to both crops and livestock and lead to increase in pest populations.
There is high risk of crop failure and food insecurity during adverse climatic periods
There is thus urgent need for adaptation and mitigation interventions to address the impacts of climate change on agriculture and more particularly on small holders and farmers.
The European Union, under its Global Climate Change Alliance Flagship Initiative is supporting Mauritius by providing technical and financial support to increase the resilience to climate change of small holders and increase their capacity to adopt climate smart agricultural practices.
In this regard, the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the European Commission have signed a Financing Agreement on 10th March this year whereby the European Commission has agreed to provide financial support to the Government to the tune of 3 Million Euros for the period 2017- 2022.
And today, the European Commission, represented by Her Excellency Mrs Sall and the Government of Mauritius, through the Ministry, are launching a Call for Proposals for potential beneficiaries to support projects related to climate change agricultural and disaster risk reduction measures.
The types of actions which will be financed under the Call for Proposals will include projects to promote watershed management, soil and water conservation, innovative irrigation techniques, development of sustainable and mixed farming practices to reduce use of agrochemicals, sheltered farming, mangroves preservation to protect agricultural lands against soil erosion and various related projects.
The expected results of the actions to be implemented under the project include improvement in water availability, increased crop cycle and production, improved quality products, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, increased revenue of small planters.
The grants to be awarded will range from EUR 300,000 to EUR 1,000,000 and the grants will be between 50% to 80% of the total costs of the projects.
Beneficiaries can be sole planters or a group of planters and also parastatal agencies in Mauritius and Rodrigues and non-state actors, namely NGOs and others.
The Guidelines for Applicants of the Call for Proposals will be made available online on the website of the European Union Delegation as from Monday 3 July 2017 and the deadline for submission of proposals is 06 October 2017.
The Ministry will provide all technical assistance required for the proper monitoring of the projects.
This project is in line with the Government’s initiative to sustain the agriculture sector and in this year’s budget a number of measures and schemes have been announced to support small farmers especially to increase crop production.
I am sure that small farmers will take advantage of the grants to be provided under this project to improve their practices on farm and produce quality products for the benefit of the population at large.
I take this opportunity to thank the European Commission for the financial assistance provided under the Accompanying Measures which has enabled the sugar cane industry to meet the challenges posed by the reforms of the EU Sugar regime as from 2005.
The contribution of the EU last year in terms of vaccines to deal with the Foot and Mouth Disease is also much appreciated.
The vaccination programme has allowed us to contain the spread of the FMD virus in a very short span of time.
It is our fervent wish that this programme meets with success and the beneficiaries will derive the maximum advantages therefrom.
We look forward to new areas of collaboration and cooperation between the EU and Mauritius to further the development of our agriculture.”