Conserving Agro-biodiversity - Setting up of a Chilli Village at Baladirou
Conserving Agro-biodiversity - Setting up of a Chilli Village at Baladirou
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Fishing is the main economic activity of the families of Baladirou. With years, the fish catches in the lagoon of Baladirou keep on decreasing thereby reducing the revenue for the families. As this situation is enhancing deterioration in the standard of living in the village, the village committee of Baladirou with the assistances of the Commission for Agriculture are developing a commercial chilli production project (chilli village) for 47 fishers in the village. The beneficiaries will do the production of chilli and the Rodrigues and Trading Marketing Company (RTMC) will do marketing.

The Rodriguan chilli, “Ti Piment Rodrigues” is famous for its pungency and taste. It has a very high market value on both local and export market. It is processed in different type of products such as in brine, pickles, paste and sauce. However, during the last 15 years, production has decreased considerably from 1860 kg in year 1990 to only 700 kg in 2005, decrease which is due mainly to:
? Cross breeding with imported varieties
? Unavailability of good quality seed
? Prolonged drought periods
? Pest and diseases, mainly mites

The project aims at re-deploying 47 fishers into sustainable chilli production, identification and geographical characterization of the variety. This will help to maintain the purity of the local chilli and identify ways for further research on the variety. If the product is going to be marketed with an organic or Rodriguan label, we will be able to know for sure whether the variety is unique to the island, to boost its commercial value.

This project amount for a sum of Rs 6,433,450 out of which a contribution of Rs. 4,778,250 will come from the Food Security Fund, Rs. 44,850 from the beneficiaries. The fund requested from the GEF Small Grants Programme is Rs1, 620,350 and will be used to implement the five major activities in collaboration with the village committee where all families are represented.
The five major activities are:
• Sensitising the fishers on the need to reduce over fishing in the lagoon of Baladirou
• Increase the capacity building of the 47 beneficiaries on sustainable chilli production
• The making and use of compost in production
• Harvesting runoff and rooftop water for irrigation
• Characterisation of chilli and developping a Geographical Indication label (GI label) for marketing the product

With the support of the GEF Small Grant Programme, it is expected that:
• 47 fishers are re-deployed into land-based activities thus decreasing the impact on the fragile and over-exploited lagoon
• Ti Piment Rodrigues is characterised and marketed under a GI label by the Rodrigues Trading and Marketing Company (RTMC).
• Commercial chilli production becomes the main income generating activity of the 47 beneficiaries
• 2 acres of land under sustainable production of chilli
• Runoff/ rooftop rainwater harvested
• Compost produced and use in production of chilli

1.1 Objectives of the project
The main objectives of the project are:
• Re-deploy 47 fishers into land-based activities
• Preserve the characteristic of local chilli
• Promote a sustainable an integrated development in chilli production
• Provide an alternative source of revenue for 47 fishers’ family of Baladirou
• To increase the production of chilli to satisfy market demand
• Produce raw materials for local agro industry

1.2 Organisation
The whole project will be under the supervision of the following committees:
1. Management committee
2. Technical Committee
3. Project Monitoring Committee
4. Implementation committee
Officers of the Commission for Agriculture, members of the village committee of Baladirou, and some beneficiaries will form part of these committees. The direct beneficiaries of the project are the 47 fishers’ of Baladirou and their families. The main roles of the Commission will be as follows:
• To make the link between the beneficiaries/village committee and the funding agency (GEF Small grant Programme- UNDP)
• Assist in implementation/monitoring the activities under this project
• Form part of the different Committees of the project

The technical staff of the Agricultural Services will give the beneficiaries all the necessary field assistance to ensure a sustainable chill production on field. The day-to-day management of the plantation will be under the responsibility of the beneficiaries.

1.3 Suitability of project
This project aims at sustaining an alternative source of income for fishers’ and their families while conserving and boosting the local commercial chilli production. Once the project is at full fledge, this will reduce pressure in the lagoon of Baladirou considerably. The project will also ensure a competitive marketing of chilli by the RTMC under the GI label.

With the development of the chilli village, the project will reinforce the links, which already exist in the village and bring more dynamism in the village committee. In addition to the production of chilli, the beneficiaries will have the chance to be trained in composting. The project is a good example of sustainable agriculture for it is giving the villagers of Baladirou the chance to preserve and improve the productivity of agricultural lands in their village. Baladirou is situated in a dry part of the island where water is very scarce. This project will permit the development of dry farming there and also allow the beneficiaries to adopt rainwater-harvesting techniques (rooftop and runoff) for irrigation as water is a major problem in this village.

1.4 Intended end results of the project
By the end of the project, it is expected that:
? Rehabilitation, protection and sustainable production of 2 acres of abandoned agricultural land at Baladirou
• Increased local production of chilli (Ti Piment Rodrigues)
• Provide fishers an alternative source of revenue to reduce pressure in lagoon fishing
• Chilli variety characterised and purity is maintained
• Ti Piment Rodrigues is marketed under specific label

1.5 Result dissemination
The setting up of the chilli village at Baladirou will serve as an example to develop a second chilli village which has already been identifed at Mt du Sable where another 40 families will be concerned. This second village will put an additional area of 3 Ha of abandoned agricultural land under chilli production.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Village Committee of Baladirou
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 161,755.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 1,518.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP4/RAF/Yr3/09/03
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
1. The 47 beneficiaries sensitised on the need to reduce over fishing in the lagoon 2. 47 beneficiaries trained on sustainable production of chilli 3. Runoff and roof top water harvested to supplement irrigation water 4. Amount of compost produced for chilli production 5. Chilli variety characterised 6. Marketing of chilli produced under the GE label
Notable Community Participation
The village committee of Baladirou consist of more than 50 families among which more than 90% are involved directly in lagoon fishing. During the rainy season, some of the villagers do some backyard gardening for their own consumption. The villagers through the village committee are very motivated and they participate fully in all activities promoting sustainable development of the village. Recently the committee has embarked in the setting up of a chilli village for the commercial production of chilli by the villagers with the assistance of the Commission for Agriculture. Before starting the project, the villagers were exposed to the concept of chilli village and they all accept to participate in the project. The Commission for Agriculture has put in place several strategies to ensure that the maximum families in the village participate in the project. Some of these strategies are: • Implementing the project through the village committee which involved all the villagers of Baladirou • For any action/activity linked with the project, the beneficiaries are consulted before implementation • It is the beneficiaries themselves who prioritised assistances that they need for the success of the project • Only beneficiaries who attend sensitisation campaigns, meetings, talks and trainings for the implementation of the project who will beneficiate from all assistances associated with the project • Each beneficiaries will own his/her plantation and all revenue will be his/hers • Constant follow up of the implementation/management project by the Agricultural Services and the village committee • Inputs will be taken back from beneficiaries who stopped the project. • Additional incentives will be given to productive chilli planters in the project
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 55
Livehood
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 47

Grantee Contact

Mrs Mirandy Leopold
Phone: 8325553
Fax: 8325927
Email: agrirod@intnet.mu
 

Address

Citronelle, Rodrigues

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

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