Rural Diversification Programme

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Rural Diversification Programme

Rural Diversification Programme

The programme's goal is to help stimulate livelihood opportunities for disadvantaged households in Mauritius by developing microenterprises and diversifying food production. The area of operations includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, with special emphasis on the poorer northern and eastern parts of Mauritius Island.


The programme supports activities to develop food self-sufficiency in Mauritius. It helps local entrepreneurs explore new markets for food products, particularly by establishing linkages with tourist hotels. A key programme activity develops new irrigation schemes, rehabilitating existing schemes and establishing water users' associations to own and manage them. Irrigation schemes contribute to a rise in the productivity of land cultivated by small-scale farmers.


The programme incorporates a comprehensive development approach for the entire island of Rodrigues. It focuses especially on the most disadvantaged households, such as those with little or no land and few assets, and households headed by women. There is an emphasis on stimulating small-scale income-generating activities such as fishing, vegetable growing, poultry-raising, bee-keeping and sewing.


Over-fishing in the lagoons has a destructive effect on the coral reef and the marine life it harbours. To increase the incomes of small-scale fishers and relieve pressure on depleting marine resources the programme helps provide incentives for fishers to give up lagoon fishing. It encourages fishing beyond the lagoon, using fish aggregating devices (FADs), which are used by small-scale fishers to attract fish in deeper seas. To back up the introduction of FADs, the programme includes training in fishing techniques, boat handling and other safety measures, to help fishers make the transition from net fishing in the lagoon to fishing in the open sea, under very different conditions. The programme trains women involved in octopus fishing on Rodrigues to catch without damaging the reef, and it also helps them find alternative activities.


The programme supports the government in sustainable management of marine resources and builds the capacity of the Fisheries Protection Services to monitor FAD fisheries and other fishing activities. It also helps build institutional capacity to support poor people’s rural enterprises through training and improving access to financial services and by strengthening grass-roots organizations.

Source: IFAD

Status: Closed
Approval Date
29 April 1999
1999 - 2010
Agricultural Development
Total Project Cost
US$ 16.57 million
IFAD Financing
US$ 11.12 million
Co-financiers (Domestic)
National Government US$ 4.71 million
Financing terms
Project ID

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Interim (mid-term) review report

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