Mauritius is in the process of setting up a National Plant Varieties and Seeds Office that will regulate the cultivation, production, trade, export and import of seeds. It will also provide for the registration of varieties and seeds for testing, inspection and certification. The Office would further advise the government on national policies relating to the seeds of any variety of any kind of plant and make recommendations for the improvement of the seed regulatory system and on the release of any variety in Mauritius.

To compliment the introduction of this Office the Mauritian Agriculture Ministry has also embarked on a project to strengthen and modernise the agricultural and agribusiness sectors with the overall aim of further securing food supply, stability and safety.

The Mauritian Minister of Agriculture, Mr Satish Faugoo, at the launch of the government initiative emphasized that crucial to the success of this initiative was seed input as it is "widely recognised that improved crop varieties and high quality seeds have played a significant role to usher the green revolution in many parts of the world." He further highlighted the prevailing belief in the agricultural sector that "seed security is a precursor to food security."

Mauritian farmers produce around 130,000 tonnes of vegetables annually from imported seeds. (Source: Pana Press)

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