An interactive session between the Hon. Minister Dr Arvin Boolell and students from the Faculty of Agriculture took place on 8 February 2007 at the RBLT. After the welcoming speeches by the presidents of the Agricultural Society and of the Students’ Union, the Minister shared his aspirations about the Mauritian Agricultural sector. He explained how Mauritius was vulnerable and far from the international market and emphasised a lot on clustering and mobilising strength. He also said that all stakeholders like the public sector, research centres, the Ministry of Agriculture and the University should work together in order to innovate and promote new values.
Students had the opportunity to question the Minister on various topics. The Minister stressed that resources should be used judiciously and declared that an Empowerment Fund should be set up to help new entrepreneurs start a business. He also talked about the role of his Ministry as a facilitator and exposed his views on other issues like the international trends in Agriculture, the emergence and adoption of new technologies, the ‘Dairy Village’ project and the Sea Food Hub.
Prior to the meeting, the Minister visited the University farm and took cognizance of the facilities offered there as well as the difficulties faced by students for practical sessions. A business-oriented approach was suggested by the Minister whereby farm produce could be commercialised with the help of qualified consultants.
I.A. Shanawaz Purdhun