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, entitled: Towards a regional approach to biotechnology policy in Southern-Africa, attempted to appraise the above-mentioned process and also to assess the benefits and risks before importing or producing GM crops in Mauritius.
In phase I a stakeholders’ and situation analysis was carried out to assess key stakeholders’ knowledge and appraise the biosafety system pertaining to agricultural biotechnology. The aim was to assess whether Mauritius has biosafety structures in place that will enable it to fully benefit from the rewards that biotechnology and, more specifically, genetic engineering can potentially bring to its agriculture, trade and food security.
Phase II of the project for Mauritius tried to evaluate 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 rationale to commercially produce such GM crops.