30 June 2021The MCB Forward Foundation (MCBFF) has made a contribution of EUR 41,040, (2,077,635MUR) to the UNDP Small Grants Programme to improve agricultural land resilience through nature-based solutions and support the farmers' community.
This UNDP SGP “Increasing Farmers Resilience to Climate Change by Adopting an Agroecological Approach” project - includes the design of an innovative drain to increase the resilience of agricultural land against recurring floods, and will benefit three co-operative societies namely: La Chaumière Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Society Limited, Plaine Sophie Mixed Farming Cooperative Society Ltd and Les Jardins Bio de Britannia Mixed Farming Cooperative Society Ltd.
Each year, the growing intensity and extreme weather events including torrential rains and droughts cause important damage to agricultural production with heavy impacts on farmers’ livelihoods. The Government of Mauritius has long recognised the problem and is now determined to put in place various mitigation and adaptation strategies.
The MCBFF funding comes at a timely moment to support the design of bioswales (shallow and broad planted drains designed to convey, storm or infiltrate stormwater and runoff) in 3 pilot agricultural fields, namely La Chaumière, Plaine Sophie and Britannia. Growers of these 3 pilot regions, will also benefit from a complementary contribution of USD 150,000 (6,394,479MUR) from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme.
During the signature ceremony, Mr. Gnany, Executive Director of MCB Group Ltd, stated: “Through this agreement, we want to help farmers in La Chaumière, Britannia and Plaine Sophie not only to increase their productivity but also to cope with the adverse effects of climate change. At MCB, we are convinced that promoting local production will have a positive effect on our economy and the country as a whole, whilst, at the same time, contributing to our climate change efforts. We hold this initiative close to our hearts because it tackles problematics on which we are already very committed through our various actions.”
Ms. Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Resident Representative, acknowledged the MCBFF for its financial support and extended her thanks to the Food and Agricultural Research Extension Institute (FAREI), which is also a partner to the project. UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Resident Representative stated that the partnership “marks a milestone as it brings together the private sector, the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme and local growers.” Ms. Serumaga also stressed that “Much still needs to be done to build resilience against the changing climatic conditions, and to support local growers to cultivate the land in innovative, resilient and sustainable ways.”
The bioswales drain, designed by Atelier LD / LD Austral, will be an innovation for agricultural fields in Mauritius and have the potential to be replicated all over the island to bring further support to the farming community.