Mauritius has adopted the Cartagena Protocol and is now faced with the challenge of implementing it within its legal and institutional structure. The FANRPAN project, Towards a regional approach to biotechnology policy in Southern-Africa, examined the implementation process and assessed the benefits and risks before importing genetically modified (GM) crops into Mauritius or producing them there.
Phase I of the project assessed key stakeholders' knowledge, and appraised the biosafety system pertaining to agricultural biotechnology. The aim was to determine whether Mauritius had biosafety structures in place that would enable it to benefit fully from the rewards that biotechnology and, more specifically, genetic engineering could potentially bring to its agriculture, trade and food security.
Phase II of the project for Mauritius evaluated the existing import policies and whether they facilitated or hampered the import of GM crops and related products. It also assessed the production systems of three crops that could benefit from genetic engineering and assessed whether it would be economically rational to produce such GM crops commercially.