The Mauritius Cabinet highlighted the setting up of an Agricultural Decision Support System as well as 15 projects to the tune of Rs 1.5 billion for inclusion in the Public Sector Investment Programme, among the measures noted on Friday, September 26, 2014.

The Cabinet noted that planters and farmers would benefit from the Agricultural Decision Support System, which will enable them better adapt to climate change, help them take appropriate and timely decisions for the planning of operations, such as fertilization, irrigation and application of crop protectants, and build resilience against climate change.

This system will be implemented by the Environment Ministry, in collaboration with the Agro-industry Ministry under the proposed “Africa Adaptation Programme on Climate Change”.

The cabinet also noted 15 projects recommended by the Project Plan Committee to the amount of Rs 1.5 billion.

The projects consist of the construction of a modern slaughter house at Belle Rive; a multi-purpose building at Le Forum, Forest-Side; housing units and associated works, and serviced plots at Mon Goût, Melrose and Souillac; 30 km of track roads around Rodrigues, and the Head Office Building for the District Council of Flacq, as well as upgradation works for the Ripailles Nicolière Road.

Concerning the disability sector, the cabinet took note of the outcome of the Dis’Ability Business Forum organized by the Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Board with the Global Rainbow Foundation.

Some of the recommendations of the forum are: to focus on accessibility issues for persons with disabilities; enhance access to information for persons with disabilities by promoting the Mauritian Sign Language and training interpreters in Sign Language; and strict enforcement of provisions for training and employment of disabled persons.

Furthermore, the Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Board will launch the National Disability Excellence Award to honour the achievements of disabled persons who have excelled in, and created an impact, in their field of work; and employers, both in the public and private sectors, who have developed appropriate policies and set up strategies for the recruitment, employment and retention of persons with disabilities.

The Cabinet noted Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, which will be put in place by Labour Minister Shakeel Mohamed, to enrich the standards of safety and health protection against asbestos found in the workplace.

Also, the Cabinet took note of the Diabetes Summit in Mauritius to be organized by the International Diabetes Federation from October 2 to 5, 2014 which participants from countries of the South East Asia Regional Council would attend.

The main objective of the Summit is to promote effective counselling of diabetes-related programmes, the understanding of broader prevention and treatment methods, as well as the in-depth exchange of ideas and country experiences in diabetes care.

Coming to the ICT sector, to enhance value and improve technical efficiency, and to promote the creation of software, the cabinet agreed on the implementation of the National Open Source Software Policy and the National Open Source Software Strategy.

The cabinet noted further that the ICT Ministry, together with the African Union Commission, would hold the Internet Exchange Point Best Practice Workshop over two days starting October 6, 2014.

This workshop is expected to create awareness and impart knowledge on the values and benefits of establishing a local Internet Exchange Point for the local Internet ecosystem, and build consensus and gain commitment towards peering.

Finally, the Cabinet noted the outcome of the recent official visit of Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, to Mauritius where she had a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Arvin Boolell.

Minister Arvin Boolell raised the idea, among others, of the signing of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement to allow Mauritius to be used as a platform by Australian businesses to penetrate the broader COMESA/SADC markets.

Image (AFD): Under the Public Sector Investment Programme, multiple projects are planned, ranging from construction of serviced plots at Mon Goût, Melrose and Souillac, to upgradation works for the Ripailles Nicolière Road.

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