|International Society for Horticultural Science|
Horticulture Research International
The climate is subtropical with sufficient difference between summer and winter. The summer season runs from November to April and the winter season from June to October though the months of April to June and September to November are transitional periods. The average yearly temperatures are 23 °C on the coast and 19 °C on the central plateau. For most of the year the whole island experiences steady south-east trade winds of moderate strength and in summer for certain days the island experiences new climatic conditions by a northernly humid warm wind. The average yearly rainfall is 5000 mm on higher grounds whereas the coastal areas may receive 900 mm of rainfall. Summer is the cyclonic season with the greatest risk occurring in January and February.
The Republic of Mauritius an Indian ocean nation consisting of the main island and its dependencies is located at latitude 20° south and longitude 58° east at about 800 km from the south-east of Madagascar. Covering an area of 1864 km2, the island is of oval shaped and is volcanic in origin. It comprises of a discontinuous ring of mountain ranges and isolated peaks, some 600-800 m in the south-west and surrounded by low undulating coastal plains. A Northern plain rises gradually to a central plateau which reaches elevation of 670 m towards the southern coast. The island is almost encircled by a coral reef. The soils consist of the typical mature ferallitic soils or latosols and of the typical immature soils in which weathering is still in progress.
Agriculture has been the main activity with sugar cane and tea as the chief cash crop until a few years ago when industrial activities expanded to become the major foreign exchange earner of the country. Tourism occupies the third position in the generation of foreign exchange.
The various aspects of horticulture that can be found are as follows: fruit growing, flower culture, mushroom cultivation, vegetable and seed production and tissue culture.
Distribution of Horticulture
Fruit growing and vegetable production is practiced in all regions. Mushroom cultivation and tissue culture are undergone in closed laboratories and produce is handed over to interested individuals for further propagation. Flower culture is done in some localized regions.
The three major research thrusts are the Ministry of Agriculture Food Technology and Natural Resources, The Food Agricultural Research Council (FARC) and a financial cess from the Sugar Cane Growers and Sugar Cane Planters Associations.
Nature of Institutes
The following Institutes undergoing agronomic and horticultural research are as follows:
1. The Ministry of Agriculture Food Technology and Natural Resources
2. The Food Agricultural Research Council (FARC)
3. The Agricultural Research and Extension Unit (AREU)
4. The Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI)
5. The Mauritius University
Organisations / Institutes:
Ministry of Agriculture Food Technology and Natural Resources
Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC)
Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (M.S.I.R.I.)