Banning synthetic chemicals and GMOs in agriculture in Mauritius

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Banning synthetic  chemicals and GMOs(Genetically Modified Organisms)  in agriculture in Mauritius  

On the International Earth Day, we, citizens of Mauritius, are requesting the Mauritian government to review the laws and policies in agriculture and environment, since they are posing threats the economy, to the health of the Mauritian population, of the soils and water bodies, of our oceans and of our biodiversity.

The wrong agricultural practices are heading the island towards an ecological, health and economic disaster!

  • Mono-cultures are the illusions of efficiency and profitability since planting one type of crop creates biodiversity loss and therefore are vulnerable to climatic conditions, droughts, floods, heavy rainfalls, high temperatures. Due to the lack of diverse root structures, soil erosion is more likely to happen with also a low percolation rate of water into the soil, with a surface run-off of 60%.Monocultures=fragile ecosystems=low yields=fragile economy/no food security.
  • The use of sterile genetically modified or hybrid seeds is also destroying the biodiversity since fewer seed varieties of vegetables and fruits are available. 
  • Our island is highly dependent on the sterile genetically modified seeds and hybrid seeds with importations from multinationals such as Bayer-Monsanto,Dow, Syngenta, ChemChina, Dupont, making our food autonomy and seed sovereignty more and more difficult.
  • Genetically modified seeds soaked in chemicals are not adapted to the Mauritian climate and soils and therefore require the significant use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This result in the destruction of soil effective microorganisms and a decrease in organic matter and humus leading to soil degradation. 
  • These “cocktails” of chemicals are destroying the population of bees, pollinators and insects, making the field more vulnerable to pests and diseases. The decrease of bees and other pollinators also indicate less local vegetable, fruit and honey production.Chemicals=less pollinators=less food.We are importing more than 77% of our food consumption.
  • Genetically modified seeds and the use of synthetic chemicals require significant amount of water with the agricultural sector using 157 irrigation boreholes (which have already reached saturation), destroying our aquifers and resulting in desertification.
  • The chemicals from wrong agricultural practices are also leached into the water streams and into the oceans, causing eutrophication, dead zones for fishes, lack of oxygen, algae bloom, acidification of the oceans and bleaching of coral reefs.
  • The use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture are known to cause high levels of genotoxicity and endocrine disruption, which can lead to chronic health and developmental effects. They cause imbalances in gut bacteria and some studies have found that they appear to accumulate in human cells. At low concentrations they damage liver, kidney and skin cells and long term effects include cancer, infertility, pregnancy problems, birth defects and respiratory diseases. 
    Recommendations:

We are requesting to:

  • Allocate the money used for the purchase of genetically modified seeds and invest in training farmers and the population in organic, non-GMO seed-saving and reproduction.This will ensure seed sovereignty. Review the GMO act 2004.
  • Educate and train farmers and vegetables and fruits growers on regenerative agriculture, polycultures, agro-forestry to create more resilient and strong self-regulating ecosystems, resistant to pests and diseases. This will increase our food autonomy. 
  • Stop industrial farming and invest in organic small-scale farms. According to the United Nations: “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,” the report concludes.
  • Empower women and youth in agriculture
  • Use the techniques and principles of permaculture design to create comprehensive water catchment, storage and management systems to cater for the agricultural needs and  recharge our aquifers
  • Introduce organic regenerative agriculture as from pre-primary education
  • Place bans on the following:
    Insecticides
    Actara 25 WG
    Agrimec 018 EC
    Dicarzol 500 SP
    Karate Zeon
    Mospilan 20 SP
    Patron 75 WP
    Pride 200 SC
    Runner 240 SC
    Sorba 050 EC
    Tracer 480 EC

Herbicides:

2,4 D Amine Salt
Acetochlor
Amicarbazone
Asulox 40
Diuron 80 WDG
Falcon Gold
Fusilade Forte
Garlon 4
Glufosinate ammonium
Glyphosate 75.7 WSG
Hexazinone 75 WG
Krismat
Metribuzin 70 WDG
Metsulfuron methyl 60 WDG
Starane 200 EC
Tebuthiuron 80 WDG
Tordon 101
Synthetic Fertilizers

Agroblend Total 15+08+16+5MgO
Agroleaf Power Calcium
Agroleaf Power Total


Water chemical absorbents and surfectants 

With political will, we believe that Mauritius can TRANSITION into a 100% ECOLOGICAL AND ORGANIC island and protect our only home Earth!