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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Rs 3.7 Million Granted To 500 Tea Planters

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Tea planters in the regions of Bois Cheri, Grand Bois and La Flora have been allocated a one-off allowance estimated to a total quantum of Rs 3.7 million for about 465 arpents under tea cultivation.  In fact, around 500 tea planters in these regions have received a one-off allowance of Rs 8,000 per arpent with respect to the losses incurred on plantations as a result of the lockdown due to the COVID–19 pandemic for the period March 2020 to June 2020.

A symbolic handing over of cheques ceremony was held, this morning, at the initiative of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in collaboration with the Small Farmers Welfare Fund, at the Bois Chéri Youth Centre.  The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy; the Attorney-General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food security, Mr Maneesh Gobin; the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal; and the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), Mr Muhammad Ismael Rawoo were present.

In his statement, Minister Padayachy, spoke of Government’s commitment in providing support to the tea planters’ community under the leadership of the Prime Minister. He added that the Prime Minister has not remained insensitive regarding the conditions of small planters in Mauritius especially when the latter was Minister for Agro-Industry from the year 2000 to 2003.

Minister Gobin, for his part, evoked the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the planters’ community and the population at large. Mauritius, he indicated, is among the few countries to have adequate vaccine doses to cater for the segment of population that can be inoculated. He also called on all planters to register with the Small Farmers Welfare Fund to avail of the various facilities being provided by Government for the well-being of the planters’ community to help them boost their cultivation for local consumption. He encouraged people to consume locally produced vegetables and dwelt on the measures being implemented to encourage such endeavours.

As for Minister Jagutpal, he pointed out that as announced in budget 2021-2022, Government is providing the one-off grant for small tea planters to meet their ends through the cultivation and harvesting of tea. The grant, he added will encourage small tea planters to continue their cultivation and this will motivate them to undertake agriculture for a living.

The PPS Mr Rawoo, highlighted those provisions have been made for the distribution of 50,000 plants to planters across the country.  He encouraged youngsters to cultivate land especially for tea cultivation to meet the increasing demand regarding tea consumption which accounts to 1,800 tonnes per year as compared to tea production which amounts to 1,500 tonnes a year. He recalled that provisions have also been made for a grant for tea planters to acquire a mini harvester to help them during the harvest period.

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