President Ramkalawan engages in dialogue with farmers’ associations |15 March 2021
President Wavel Ramkalawan chaired a special meeting with members of various farmers’ associations on Friday at State House.
He was accompanied by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Flavien Joubert; the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning & Trade, Naadir Hassan; and officials from both ministries.
The aim of the meeting was to review pertinent issues and challenges currently faced by farmers in the country and to set a clear route for the way forward.
After listening to the members of the various associations, the following decisions were adopted by the two parties:
- The government places high importance on the agricultural sector and gives every encouragement possible to the industry. The associations pledged to give their maximum in order to play their role in ensuring food security for the country and produce enough to cut on importation.
- The government exempts all farmers from paying business tax for a period of three years, after which a review would be done to assess what other measures would need to be taken.
- Farmers make an annual contribution based on an assessment relating to their lease in the case of those on government land and on the size of their farm for those in the private sector. This would apply for both livestock and crop production farms.
- It was agreed that undeveloped agricultural land is taken back and allocated to interested farmers.
- Agricultural land is protected at all times.
- Government removes quotas on livestock production and works closely with farmers for proper storage.
- Government encourages the private sector to buy locally instead of importing, thus saving the country precious foreign exchange.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all our farmers for their hard work and immense contribution they are all making in order to ensure food security for our population. Agriculture is a critical sector in our economy, its potential is enormous and we have to exploit it to the greater advantage of our country. Today I would like to renew the government’s commitment and support for farmers. Our doors remain open to listen to your views and ensure we facilitate your operations and boost our local production,” said President Ramkalawan.
The meeting was also an opportunity for representatives of the associations to share their ideas and views on how to further improve the agricultural sector vis-à-vis new market opportunities, products and adopting more innovative and modern agricultural practices.
On behalf of the farmers’ associations present, Dr Barry Nourrice thanked the President for making the time to meet with them and expressed appreciation on the new approach adopted by his administration in ensuring the welfare of farmers and the vision to see that agriculture is elevated as a key sector in the country.
Press release from State House