The sugarcane industry is facing, both at local and international levels, numerous challenges and it is important to have a global approach to addressing this issue, stated the Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, today, at the signing ceremony of a Reimbursable Advisory Services Agreement for the sugarcane sector in Mauritius at the seat of the Ministry in Port Louis.
The signatories were the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Agro-industry and Food Security, Mr B. Boyramboli and the Director of the World Bank Country, Mr Mark Lundell. Representatives of the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority, Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute, amongst others, were also present.
Minister Gobin highlighted that Mauritius has sought the expertise and experience of the World Bank for a competitiveness analysis of the sugarcane industry and the formulation of concrete actions for the way forward. In this endeavour, he said, preliminary works have been already started in 2019 by the experts of the World Bank and one of them is permanently based in Mauritius for research work.
For his part, the Director Lundell, underlined that Mauritius as well as other countries are facing a lot of pressure on the global market as regards the sugarcane industry. A policy framework, he said, is vital for the transition of the sector into a competitive for the Mauritian market. He reiterated the support of the World Bank to the Government of Mauritius for the long-term resilience of the sugarcane industry.
The agreement comprises a competitiveness assessment of the advantages of the agro-industrial enterprises and farmers which will focus on productivity, cost of production, opportunity costs, and revenues from different potential market sources.
In addition, it includes an analysis of the institutional structure, performance and incentives of the various stakeholders of the sugar cane sector, including, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, the Sugar Insurance Fund Board, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, the Central Electricity Board, smallholder growers, producers, millers, employees of the various institutions, and traders.
A policy note summarising the sector review and providing recommendations for public policy and programmes for future development of the sector, also forms part of the agreement.