Organic Agriculture & and Community-based Garden at College Pere-Laval (formerly “Community-based Afforestation on Tombeau Bay Islets”)
Organic Agriculture & and Community-based Garden at College Pere-Laval (formerly “Community-based Afforestation on Tombeau Bay Islets”)
1.1 Project Summary

Following ‘the Saint Malo Sail Training and Yachting Association (SMSTYA)’ unsuccessful attempts during the past 2 years to obtain the approval of the concerned Authorities to implement its ‘Community Based Afforestation project on the Tombeau Bay Islets’, the GEF/Small Grants Programme (SGP) has kindly agreed that the Association re-orient its initial project towards a Sustainable Bio-Agriculture /Climate smart project in association with the College Pere Laval (CPL), with the primary objectives of exposing students to good soil and biodiversity conservation and agricultural production practices, and providing them with actual experiential opportunities to practice cultivating land in a sustainable way. To this end, the Management of the College has agreed to put at the project’s disposal bare land of about half an acre for the implementation of a sustainable Bio-Agriculture demonstration garden which takes into account the biodiversity of the region.

The project will be located at College Pere-Laval, St Croix , which enjoys a sub humid climate. The land area at our disposal, 0.53-acre (70.27m x 30.53 m) = 2145 m2 is as per the plan in Appendix 1, and is located in the most deprived area of Port-Louis at Le Cornue, Ste-Croix. The College welcomes students from among the lowest achievers at the CPE Examinations, those ‘poorly passed’ of our educational system that are bound to be left in the poverty circle. The students mostly come from disadvantaged, low income families struggling with unemployment. Many students come from broken homes or families and strive hard for everyday subsistence, some even work after school hours. Many of them do not have books and have to rely on the Ministry of Social Security.

The Bio-agriculture demonstration project will be a spring board for these students, their parents and the surrounding community. Through a mix of theoretical knowledge, group work and learning by doing, the project will provide learning opportunities that will help students and their friends in the surrounding area build-up confidence and self-esteem. With the skills they will acquire through their training, they will be empowered to orientate their future lifestyle. As a result, these young persons can become assets to their communities and examples for others to follow.

The aim of the project is to produce Bio /Organic products, which is in line with the government objectives and help people in the deprived area of St-Croix/ Cite La Cure/Cite Briquette to set up agricultural businesses. The area available will be divided into different plots, including vegetable, fruit, value-added flowers, spices, medicinal plants and endemic plant corners. These plots will be used as demonstration as well as a means of capacity building. Through the project, the students, their parents, the surrounding community and also the association’s trainees will acquire knowledge, attitudes and skills as follows:

• develop an awareness of the economic and social importance of sustainable and organic agriculture in Mauritius
• acquire general knowledge of the scientific principles and techniques of organic agricultural production
• develop an awareness of the local agriculture system and the related services available
• acquire a knowledge of the natural resources of the country and the methods of their conservation
• develop an awareness of the importance of organic agriculture in the ecological system, develop a respect for agricultural work, realize the importance of agriculture in the life of every Mauritian.
• develop an interest for small scale gardening and animal rearing
• develop their qualities of leadership, resourcefulness and sense of co-operation through the project method
• acquire skills on climate-smart agriculture
• develop a respect for the environment.
• acquire the ability to devise and carry out simple experiments
• acquire the ability to handle and use simple tools and equipment
• acquire the techniques for practical agricultural work

1.2 Implementation of the project

For the implementation of the project, the Association SMSTYA will work with Fondation Resources et Nature (FORENA) as a main partner for the implementation and certification of the organic agricultural plot in the school. FORENA provides a platform for SMSTYA to partner with other associations implementing organic agriculture and certify their products with Eco-Cert. FORENA will train local resource persons in the basic organic agricultural methods at its Centre for Excellence for Organic Agriculture and assist with documentation and other requirements for certification.

SMSTYA will also be assisted by Mr. Daboo (senior extension officer for the north region) from Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI); Mr. Carmagnole, an experienced senior agronomist, and Mrs. Melissa Fanny and Ms. Bhavna Murdun, Agriculture Teachers at the College. The project will form an integral part of the normal agricultural classes according to the school calendar. A total of sixteen (16) classes per week will be available for the 2016-2017 scholastic year; with the planned introduction of Agriculture class at the Form 4 & Form 5 levels as from 2018-2019, a total of twenty (20) classes will be available per week.

A Steering Committee will be set up with the participation of representatives from the following stakeholder groups: SMSTYA, CPL, PTA, UNDP/SGP, MoA, and other technical resource persons. The Steering Committee will meet on a regular basis to monitor progress, identify any risks that may hinder achievement of project activities and objectives, review and endorse annual work plan and planned budgets, help mobilize resources to supplement project funding, and recommend corrective measures and orientation as deemed necessary.


 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Saint Malo Sail Training and Yatching Association
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Grant Amount:
US$ 27,297.73
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 65,149.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP5/YR3/STAR/BD/14/05
Status:
Project Terminated Before Completion
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
During the phase of Project planning and design, little direct involvement of the community is foreseen as this phase shall be carried out rather with specialist of SMSTYA and competent authorities. Nevertheless as stated in section 1.9 hereof, communication with the community at large shall be kick-off at this stage. During project implementation and thereafter during Project monitoring and evaluation, the community shall be fully involved with site works during pre-planting and planting stages, as stated in section 1.9 hereof.
Gender Focus
Gender mainstreaming is a ‘Sine Qua Non’ of the whole exercise as we make no distinction between the sexes. One of the main participants of this project is Ms. Nadia Seesaram, a woman engineer by training and profession, she is a tremendous asset to the project and a role model for the youngsters, be it boys or girls, to emulate. Educating the girls is not only important but essential for any society to be sustainable and peaceful. As the Chinese saying goes ‘Women hold half of the sky’. The Saint Malo Sail Training Association is already providing opportunities for Boys as well as Girls to practice sailing. The afforestation of the islets is but an extension of the same approach, we will provide equal opportunities for the girls to be involved in this important educational project.
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Partnership

Ministry of Fisheries and Mauritius Ports Authority

Grantee Contact

Capitain J. Wong Chung Toi
Phone: 2472738
Email: wongtoi@intnet.mu
 

Address

251, Avenue des Roses, Morcellement Swan
Tombeau Bay , 230

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