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Work Package 4

Development of a sustainable and inclusive value-chain for smallholder dairy farmers in the Republic of Mauritius

Work Package 4

The work package 4 (WP4), as part of the EU funded project, the Faculty of Agriculture in Mauritius aims to boost-up its local dairy sector at empowering Mauritian small-holder farmers for the development of a sustainable and climate-smart dairy value chain for better Food and Nutrition Security and enhance income. The upgraded action will also support young entrepreneurs in the dairy sector, produce safe and quality milk, value dairy added product for local population and promote sustainable usage of land, water and other natural resources.

Our Team

Mr H. Hurnam, Dr D. Ramful Baboolall, Assoc Prof B Ramasawmy Molaye, Miss N Surjoo, Mr T. Bholanauth

Increased supply of quality and wholesome milk from smallholder dairy farmers marketed for the local market and as input for the local agroindustry

This work empowers smallholders through a sustainable, climate-smart dairy value chain, enhancing food security and income. A model dairy farm at the University of Mauritius will drive research and development. Young entrepreneurs will replicate this with private sector collaboration. Research and product development will stimulate the economy and tourism industry through local dairy. This aligns with DeSIRA’s goals for food security, quality milk, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. It supports the Government’s vision and private sector’s local production push. Replicating model farms introduces modern methods with climate-smart tech, appealing to youth and promoting gender inclusion, in line with Government and University aims.


Workshop at Bois Pignolet Community Center

Workshop at Bois Pignolet Community Center (63 participants) and at Morcellement St Andre Khoyratty Community Center (50 Participants) in collaboration with the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund and F.A.L.C.O.N

Oct 2020

Workshop at Mapou

Workshop at Mapou in collaboration with the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund and F.A.L.C.O.N

Feb 2021

Webinar: Food Loss and Food Waste International Day

Webinar on the occasion of the international day of awareness of food loss and food waste

September 2021

Online Focus Group

Online Focus group with Stakeholders on 'Enhancing Food Safety, Food waste reduction and food innovation'

May 2022

Webinar on Food Waste

Webinar on ' Food Waste Reduction and Recovery' for Students in Rodrigues

May 2022

Food Waste Reduction Workshop

Workshop on "Food Waste Reduction; it is our responsibility' with Mauritius Revenue Authority Staff

June 2022

Food Waste Campaign

Campaign on " Together, We can Fight Food Waste at St Nicholas Grammar School"

June 2022

Women Entrepreneur Workshop

Workshop on the 'Valorisation of Food Waste' with women entrepreneur

June 2022

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss

Celebrating International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Food Waste Reduction

September 2022

Train The Trainers

Train the Trainers Workshop with 18 Home economies instructors and officers on " food waste reduction at household level"

January 2023

Output of WP4

Aim: Improved animal nutrition and access to quality animal feeds will contribute to increased productivity of smallholder dairy farmers by impacting both on the volume and on the quality of the milk produced, for enhanced access to the market and income.

Scope: An inventory of available forages will be carried out to identify the nutritional constraints and inform the development of improved forage management and rational use of concentrates.


4.1.1 To conduct a detailed inventory of available feed resources on selected farms;

Tangible 4.1.1:

  • Characterization of the nutritional value of forages available on-farm
  • The preliminary results have been submitted to the farmers
  • Data-informed on-farm feeding recommendations (Activity 4.1.3)


4.1.2 To establish and manage pastures (diversified grasses/legumes) on- farm for increased pasture consumption;

Tangible 4.1.2:

  • The detailed plan for a ‘Mixed Forage Pasture – multi species fodder bank’ is available.
  • The total expected forage output has been assessed, as well as the required management practices.
  • The plan will be submitted in the Final Report.


4.1.3 To formulate optimised feeding rations for selected farms using feed supplements;

Tangible 4.1.3:

  • Optimised on-farm rations for dairy cows.


4.1.4 To improve the skills of smallholder dairy producers at managing pastures and the use of feed supplements

Tangible 4.1.4:

  • ‘Technical Guide on the Management and Development of Pastures’


Aim: To use molecular techniques mainly sequencing to differentiate the Creole breeds from the other two breeds thus valorizing and conserving the Creole cow which is in danger of extinction.

Scope: There are three main cattle breeds in Mauritius; the Friesian cows, the Creole cows and the Cross (Creole and Friesians) breeds. These breeds are mainly maintained at the Livestock division at FAREI and small growers where sampling will be carried out. This study will take stock of the currently available cattle breeds in Mauritius. More importantly, it is imperative to characterise the local cattle germplasm to harness its potential which includes tolerance to disease,  high  milk/meat  production and  tolerance  to  biotic  stress.  Phenotypic  data  will be supplemented with genomics data.


4.2.1 To collect morphological and phenotypic data of local cattle breeds;

Tangible 4.2.1:

  • A detailed characterisation of the morphological and phenotypic data of the dairy herd from selected farms of relevance in future breeding programmes and improvements of the herd.


4.2.2 To collect physiological characteristics e.g. tolerance to disease, high milk/meat production, tolerance to water scarcity and high temperature;

4.2.3 To identify elite breeds to include in breeding programs;

4.2.4 To carry out DNA extractionfrom blood from the different breeds;

4.2.5 To conduct genome characterisation of the different breeds using microsatellites or SNPs for elite breed identification

Aim: To evaluate the microbiological milk profile for the diagnosis and prevention of mastitis in cows.

Scope: The microbiological profile of locally produced milk is a critical factor affecting the development of the fresh milk industry in Mauritius. Mastitis caused by udder infections during milking or from environmental contact is also negatively affecting the yield and quality of locally produced milk. The above action will contribute to increase milk yield by proposing managerial measures in order to eliminate or reduce sources of infection.


4.3.1 Isolation and identification of microbial pathogens from milk and mammary glands (udder & teats);

4.3.2 Pathogen identification using biochemical and molecular techniques;

4.3.3 Evaluation of available drugs against cultured pathogens

Aim: Mapping of the dairy value chain in Mauritius will ensure that all baseline information of the chain is identified to provide a support to decision-making and policy making.

Scope: All actors involved in the dairy value chain as well as support institutions will be identified as well as their strengths and current challenges.


4.4.1 To identify the core processes; main actors; flows/volumes of products; knowledge and flows of information and services to the Dairy Value Chain;

4.4.2 To determine the rules and regulations; dominant coordination arrangements; power distribution and trust among actors in the Dairy Value Chain;

4.4.3 To determine the costs, margins and income distribution for the Value Chain participants;

4.4.4 To identify gaps in knowledge, skills and technology in the Dairy Value Chain;

4.4.5 To propose an information model compatible with blockchain that can be used to store dairy value chain data in a continuous manner;

4.4.6 To propose monitoring algorithms for fast detection, identification and alerting in case of problems at any point and at any level of the dairy value chain;

4.4.7 To propose analytics methods (especially focusing on mining and learning methods) over the dairy value chain data in order to be able to identify patterns and predict problems in the management of the relevant data.

Aim: The AgriTECH Park has already identified a co-working space to encourage entrepreneurs and students to work on new product/services concepts. This co-working space need to be equipped with the right IT equipment and infrastructure and will also be a business meeting place with mentors from the industry to advise the budding entrepreneurs.

Scope: A co-working space will be the ideal set-up for new and existing entrepreneurs as well as university students to interact and come up with creative and innovative ideas of sustainable products and services that can better serve the society.


4.5.1 To equip the agribusiness incubator to support entrepreneurial start-ups

Figure 8.0: Layout and sketch of the UoM Co-working space

Aim: Improved husbandry practices will reduce the intensity of GHG emissions (Ei) from smallholder milk production systems and the Dairy Carbon Footprint, whilst improving dairy productivity and food security.

Scope: Total emissions of CHGs from the smallholder milk production systems will be quantified, and the results used to test the effectiveness of improved husbandry practices.


4.6.1 To use the GLEAM-interactive (GLEAM-i) (FAO 2017) for calculations of GHG emissions from selected smallholder dairy Farms;

Aim: To design three (3) innovative and nutritious dairy products that will be appealing to the local population and devising an operational plan for scaling up of the three (3) dairy products.

Scope: Mauritians are not accustomed to local fresh milk and this consumption habit deprives farmers of a viable and sustainable market. The lack of an effective distribution system throughout the island is also a major obstacle to the sale of fresh milk in Mauritius. Fresh milk competes with a number of imported brands of powdered milk reinforced by constant advertising. A judicious way to encourage Mauritians to consume local milk is to transform the milk into dairy products that are popular locally namely, paneer, cream cheese, ghee, yoghurts, etc. The empowerment of women of Mauritius and Rodrigues in milk transformation and value addition activities is envisaged. Moreover, there will be building of regional, institutional and human capacity (especially women) in milk production, management and transformation through training, education, research and outreach. The creation of a niche market for fresh locally produced dairy products is targeted.


4.7.1 To conduct a survey of smallholder farmers for  assessment  of  milk practices;

4.7.2 To develop three (3) products using fresh pasteurized dairy milk as raw material;

Tangible 4.7.2:

  • Developed of a value-added product namely drinking yoghurt with fresh fruit jam puree.
  • Developed of a value-added product namely butter with aromatic herbs.

4.7.3 To carry out sensory tests and shelf-life studies on the three (3) dairy products;

4.7.4 To assess the financial feasibility of producing the three (3) dairy products;

4.7.5 To provide an operational plan to scale out the three (3) dairy products at SME levels.

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