Alternative Livelihoods for Poor and Fishers’ Communities in Rodrigues
Alternative Livelihoods for Poor and Fishers’ Communities in Rodrigues
Agriculture is one of the main pillars of the local economy and in the past, Rodrigues was considered as the granary of Mauritius. During the last decades the agricultural production has decreased mainly due to changing climatic conditions including the lack of water for irrigation and irregular rainfall patterns and shortage of investment in the sector. This has been followed by many problems including the massive abandonment of productive lands.
The constraints affecting agricultural production are inter-related and should be addressed urgently to prevent further problems which may be very difficult to remediate. Being multi-faceted, the proposed project will address several problems which will help boost the agricultural and agribusiness sectors. More importantly the environment will be improved thus ensuring sustainable exploitation of natural resources. It should also be noted that the fish and invertebrate stocks in the lagoons have continuously declined during the past decades due to increasing number of people involved in sea-based activities. The lack of alternative land-based activities has forced many people to go fishing. The marine biodiversity is being affected due to high fishing pressure on the lagoons. The project will help reduce pressure by developing alternative and sustainable land-based activities where fishers can be deployed. This action will help conserve the marine biodiversity thus rehabilitating the fish and invertebrate stocks. Through the rehabilitation of land and plantation of trees, the land biodiversity will be also conserved. The plantation of windbreaks such as Vetiver and Vacoas along the borders will help reduce the land degradation. Pineapples and other crops will be also planted to retain and protect the top soil.
The rainfall patterns have changed due to varying climatic conditions which directly affect the agricultural production. Rodrigues receives low amount of rainfalls due to its geographical location in the Indian Ocean. The lack of catchment areas around the island has consequently reduced the rainfall distributions and lengthened the patterns. The project will address this issue by the plantation of rain-attracting plant species. While the planters cultivate a variety of crops, being aware of the water scarcity, they will lay emphasis on food crops with low requirements in terms of soil quality and water. The profile of the project sites is well-suited for the cultivation of food crops such as cassava, sweet potato, pineapples and other such crops.
The project will be implemented at Montagne Goyaves where the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) has ploughed 61.78 hectares of lands in this region which still need to be fully rehabilitated by building 20,000 metres of terraces and establishing drainage systems. The approach is to protect lands by the community through cultivation and other activities. Through these activities, the lands will be also enriched with local manure/compost that comes from farming activities to maximize the production and soil quality.
A value-chain approach will be developed aiming at processing the cultivated tubers through the establishment of a processing plant for the production of local flour which will be consumed and supplemented at different proportions for use as livestock feeds. The target groups will be 80 beneficiaries from the vulnerable groups (22 fishers and 58 planters) in the surroundings. Actually, these communities are encountering serious problems due to reduced fishing stocks and sales.
In 2002, the World Bank has reported that the poverty level is 37% in Rodrigues and has the second least relative development index among 124 regions of the Republic of Mauritius. Good education of the population remains the main way out of the vicious circle of poverty. The beneficiaries already have the required experience for the cultivation of lands and further trainings will be provided for capacity building. The target groups will benefit from an increase of income, thus helping them schooling their children. The final beneficiaries will be the local consumers (households) who will buy good quality products at competitive prices. Farmers will also obtain local livestock feeds at low prices as compared to imported ones and agricultural farming will be more profitable. The project is to tackle mainly land degradation, conservation of biodiversity and beneficiaries will be role models showing the way in terms of agricultural development. The project will help consolidating the agribusiness sector and the activity will be done as alternative livelihood by the youth and fishermen among others.
Funding is sought from the GEF SGP and the RRA has already committed support. The community will be actively involved in the implementation and will provide in-kind contribution in different activities. The applicant will be the main contributor in terms of in-kind contribution in the planning and implementation. The Rodrigues Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Federation (RAMCF) Ltd, a partner to the project will also contribute by providing transport services and help in the implementation. The project duration is 18 months.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Association des Planteurs de Montagne Goyaves
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 80,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 338,247.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP5/YR3/STAR/BD/13/04
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
80 beneficiaries from the vulnerable groups (22 fishers and 58 planters) in the surroundings of Goyaves mountain.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
APMG will act as role model for other organizations around the island especially regarding cultivation and processing of low-requirement food crops such as cassava, sweet potato and other tubers.
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Indicators
Biophysical
Number of globally significant species protected by project 4
Biophysical
Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 61
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 34
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 106
Livehood
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 114

Grantee Contact

Mr. Joseph Christopher Leopold
Email: Leopold_christopher@yahoo.fr
 

Address

Mte Goyaves
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

Country Website