October 12, 2023
Living Green in Mauritius: Ferney's Agri-Hub and Its Impact on Local Communities
We invite you to discover Ferney Agri-Hub in the South East of the island. As part of a forward-looking agricultural community, the Agri-Hub aims to provide agripreneurs with a platform to offer low-carbon produce, with a positive social and ecological impact. Learn about Ferney’s initiatives for living green in Mauritius.
What is the Ferney Agri-Hub?
Launched in 2022, the Ferney Agri-Hub was the first phase within de grander scope of real estate development of the region. This initial phase set the building blocks for the upcoming Agrihood, a type of planned community that integrates agriculture into a residential neighbourhood, which makes this project stand out from currently existing projects under the Smart City Scheme in Mauritius.
The concept of an Agri-Hub in Mauritius
Ferney Agri-Hub is an integrated ecosystem that promotes sustainable farming practices. Led by a philosophy of protecting the region’s natural heritage and contributing to improve food access and create a thriving circular economy, this programme onboards like-minded farmers and agri entrepreneurs in a virtuous initiative. Producing nutritious, chemical-free food, innovative sustainability solutions and empowering local entrepreneurs are but a few contributions this project brings to the table.
In fact, the project brings together small-scale farmers and large agri-operators by providing them with 30 acres of fertile agricultural land in Ferney to grow their produce… And businesses, as the hub also provides access to a shared platform of services and co-working spaces in the South. As such, the Ferney Agri-Hub was chosen in 2022 by Katapult, an impact accelerator program, to host its program investing in 7 regional and international start-ups to find innovative solutions in the field of regenerative agriculture and agritech.
The objectives of the Agri-Hub
Ferney Agri-Hub, nonetheless, remains rooted in sustainability, and so are its objectives. Indeed, its pledge of responsible farming to which tenants must adhere includes 100% chemical-free agriculture, which retained 12 tenants since the inception of this project.
The result of this farming is instrumental in the Farm-to-Table concept that supplies Ferney Falaise Rouge. The flagship restaurant of La Vallée de Ferney offers delicious Mauritian and world cuisines, whilst sourcing only the freshest ingredients from the region. From local fish to big game such as wild boar and venison, “tasting the region” is an unforgettable experience, as short-circuit ingredients go from farm-to-fork. Adding to this list of prime ingredients, the Agri-Hub provides the restaurant with fresh, low-carbon footprint ingredients, all the while, providing tenants with a steady demand. This constitutes the budding stages of its other main objective: developing a circular economy within Ferney and the local neighbourhood.
Promoting sustainable farming practices in Mauritius
The Agri-Hub’s 100% pesticide-free policy is not the only way in which it promotes sustainable practices. In fact, its comprehensive approach considers various aspects of the impact of the food chain, from farm to fork.
As such, the theme of the first Katapult accelerator programme was regenerative agriculture, which aims to restore healthy soil, all the while minimising the use of resources and maximising productivity. This concept is anchored in the idea that, as the planet thrives, so can the farmers, as its stewards.
Finally, this agrihub aims to foster a circular economy by bringing chemical-free, low-carbon footprint ingredients to residents of the region.
Ferney’s Initiatives in Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurs
Backed by a strong and supportive network of reputed institutions such as the Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM) and the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI), the Ferney Agri-Hub aims to provide farmers with all the tools they need for success… Allowing them to be part of a larger sustainable initiative.
Mindful of farmers’ needs, Ferney Agri-Hub keeps an open and active dialogue to keep up with their evolving circumstances. Since the inception of this project, our agri-tenants raised issues such as a lack of market access and a lack of expertise regarding eco-technology, which we are actively working to improve.
Impact of the Agri-Hub on the local community
Overall, the Agri-Hub brings healthier choices to the table. On top of organic produce, it also eases the access to locally grown, low-ecological impact food to residents of Ferney Agrihood and the region, with the hope that these sustainable farming techniques become more widespread. The Ferney Agri-Hub therefore hired an expert social worker to help connect the surrounding communities with Ferney Agri Farm to trigger social projects.
Social Projects by Ferney
The first of these social projects arose out of solidarity towards the neighbouring villages. After the Wakashio disaster in the South caused tremendous stress on local communities, Ferney handed over a plot of land to 5 women with a vision of growing food for their own families in 2020. This community project known as Ferney Agri Farm, which initially started out as a community garden to help these women achieve food security for their own families is still ongoing, and now focuses on helping them become financially independent. Indeed, with the strength of their resolve and green thumbs, the Hub decided to help them turn their talent into a profession by securing financing from the HSBC, and a training agreement with Le Vélo Vert (a specialist in terms of agriculture and sustainable farming) in 2022. They were also introduced to Ferney Falaise Rouge as suppliers, allowing them to sell their surplus produce to the Farm-to-table restaurant.
Joining the Green Revolution in Ferney
Sustainability and solidarity go hand in hand in the Ferney Agrihub. As this lively green community embraces technology whilst remaining rooted in eco-friendly practices, their impact starts expanding beyond the premises of the Ferney Agri-Hub to help a budding circular economy bloom in the pristine South of Mauritius. As they keep learning, and we keep learning from them, in a growth dynamic, we invite you to join this virtuous movement, and be an active agent of positive change and shared prosperity.
Join the 12 agripreneurs who supported the Agrihood from its inception now !