Pilot demonstration facility for windrow composting of agricultural wastes and production of biovegetables
Pilot demonstration facility for windrow composting of agricultural wastes and production of biovegetables
The main economic activities of Rodrigues are agriculture and fishing. Rodrigues, since its autonomy in 2002, plans to further promote itself as an Organic Production island. The island has a rich heritage of traditional food items, which can be produced and marketed with an organic label. Giving a boost to Rodriguan agriculture is one of the main activities defined in the five-year Plan for the Non-Sugar Agricultural Sector. Training of farmers and planters in Rodrigues, the adoption of new technology with a view to enhancing their agricultural productivity has been well emphasized in the plan (Annex 1). Furthermore, it is reported that tourists in Rodrigues more and more request biovegetables as they fit with the image of Rodrigues as a tourist destination as being natural, typical and “safe“ food.

Development of a sustainable agricultural industry in Rodrigues is highly dependent on having a rich soil base. Overgrazing and the topography of Rodrigues have led to significant land degradation in several regions. Sustainable land management is nowadays one of the main priorities of island states and most particularly Rodrigues which has a high level of soil erosion. Land degradation has also been emphasized in the recently launched project on Integrated Development Plan for Rodrigues (SIDPR). Sustainable land management is highly dependent on sustaining the soil. This can be achieved by continuously replenishing the soil with natural organic matter, which can be obtained with compost. Composting would produce a material rich in nutrients, micro-organisms and organic matter which will nourish poor and nutrient depleted soils where crops have been planted on a continuous basis.

This project consists in building capacity in recycling organic wastes, compost making and utilization on an island-wide basis in Rodrigues. The overall objective is to train farmers to produce their own composts to be used in agricultural practices in view of addressing sustainable land management practices to achieve global environmental benefits. The initiative and drive for this project comes from the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) and the planters for the purpose of a comprehensive approach towards adoption of new agricultural practices.

This project forms part of a cluster of projects related to promotion of sustainable agricultural practices including the improved management of agricultural and animal wastes. The four projects on

1. Developing sustainable agricultural practices in Rodrigues through capacity building in composting,
2. Sustainable Animal Waste Management in Rodrigues,
3. Municipal Solid Waste Recycling among farmer communities in Rodrigues, and
4. Pilot demonstration facility for windrow composting of agricultural wastes
work towards the same goal to create a bigger positive impact on the agricultural and environmental sectors of Rodrigues.
A preliminary study was conducted by the consultant with the community members during a mission visit in April 2005, to identify key issues pertaining to the formulation of the complete project proposal. This was made possible by using the planning grant scheme under the UNDP GEF Small Grants Program. The National Coordinator (NC) for GEF/SGP, the Chairman and a member of the SGP steering committee formed part of this feasibility visit. The consultant had meetings with the Deputy commissioner, responsible for Agriculture, the Chief Engineer, the President and executive members of the Associations of planters, Mr Karl Allas and Mr Sookaria, the officer in charge of the agriculture division in Rodrigues. During the meeting, the consultant presented international and local composting practices and discussed about the proposed project. The basics of composting and project elements were also discussed with the Associations des Agriculteurs at Citronelle. Site visits were conducted at the valley of Mourouk, Petit Gabriel and Nouvelle Decouverte to be able to assess the needs of the different communities. The main conclusions of the mission visit were as follows:
· All five regions of Rodrigues will be considered for demonstrating composting practices. The training and community wide composting would include the regions of Citronelle, Trefles, La Ferme, Marechal, and Centre of Rodrigues.
· Different types of wastes will be used including animal wastes and green wastes.
· There was a deep interest on the part of the different associations. Some members were already aware of the benefits of composting and were practising some sort of composting.
· The associations were interested in both types of composting; windrow and rotary depending on the quantity of wastes. The river valleys where farmers had small plots of land such as Mourouk are more interested in rotary composting whereas farmers with large amounts of wastes would like to compost in windrows.
Details of the mission report can be found in Annex 1.

Objectives of proposed project

This project looks into building capacity and sharing knowledge in the area of composting as well as developing community wide composting programs over the whole island. Secondary objectives include recycling of organic wastes, produce a safe compost of good quality, construct a large-scale windrow demonstration facility to compost large amounts of waste and apply compost produced on vegetables in view of reducing usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. The production of biovegetable in this project would be a first one in Rodrigues.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Association des Agriculteurs de Nouvelle Decouverte
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
International Waters
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 39,300.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 26,973.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP4/CORE/07/02
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
4.1 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES This project consists of developing a windrow composting training and demonstration facility at Nouvelle Decouverte. This demo plant will enable farmers with large amounts of agricultural wastes to obtain know-how on the conversion of wastes into good quality compost. It will also involve the production of bio-organic vegetables / fruits, which is the first one implemented in Rodrigues.
Notable Community Participation
5.0 Plan to ensure community participation During the mission prior to developing the project, meetings were held with the associations of farmers and site visits were conducted to different regions. During the presentation sessions at Citronelle and site visits at Mourouk, the farmers expressed their interest to contribute in the project, even on a financial basis when the details of the project were outlined to them. Women in particular in the meetings and site visits came forward and showed eagerness to set up composting facilities in their plots of land. They mentioned that they did need composts to replace manure in their plantations. This project has involved the community right from the start from the development of the proposal and the following is being planned · Involving beneficiaries of Riviere Banane project in hands on training sessions with the villages · At the beginning of each training session, explanations will be provided to the whole community of farmers in selected regions · The villages will be selected after having consultations with the associations at various levels · A village representative from the recipient villages will be part of the implementation committee · The rotary composters will be distributed on a cost sharing basis, enlisting thus the firm commitment of the owners
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Partnership

Local Government

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator
 

Address

Mrs. Olive Boncoeur Chairperson Association des Agriculteurs de Nouvelle Découverte Nouvelle Découverte, Rodrigues and Mr. André Emilien Chairman Association des Planteurs de St François, St François, Rodrigues
Nouvelle Decouverte ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
Phone:
(230) 213 53 84
Fax:
(230) 212 14 11
Email:

Address

2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website