Mauritius: Minister Bholah visits hydroponic farm in Triolet to take stock of progress

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs, and Cooperatives, Mr. Soomilduth Bholah, effected a site visit today at the hydroponic farm of Mrs. Harikshana Gokhool located at Triolet. The aim was to take stock of the progress made by Mrs. Gokhool after benefitting from a grant scheme of SME Mauritius Ltd.

In a statement following the visit, Minister Bholah pointed out that Mrs. Gokhool is a good example of a woman entrepreneur who has successfully engaged in hydroponic farming with the cultivation of tomatoes. He encouraged more women to venture on the path of entrepreneurship. 

Mr. Bholah reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to providing continued assistance through various schemes to support entrepreneurs. He also expressed satisfaction as regards the production and quality of crops at the farm. In the near future, Mrs. Gokhool might try the cultivation of capsicum.

The Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr. Ravin Rampersad, also present at the site visit, spoke of the several schemes dispensed by the organization through financial grants that are non-refundable depending on the project. The next step, he said, is to help Mrs. Gokhool install photovoltaic panels, which will help her reduce electricity costs.

As for Mrs. Gokhool, she shared her experiences on how she embarked on the entrepreneurial field after losing her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She indicated that she followed a  one-month course from FAREI and a six-month training at a colleague’s farm. Tomatoes from her hydroponic farm are sold to restaurants as well as to vendors at the markets of Grand Baie, Fond du Sac, and Triolet.

Mrs. Harikshana Gokhool is a registered planter since June 2021. She invested Rs 2.4 million in her business, comprising the production of fresh vegetables on a 400 m2 hydroponic farm. She has opted for the sheltered farming system so as to mitigate the effects of adverse climatic conditions, thereby improving the production capacity and quality.

She has benefitted from the Utility Connection Assistance Scheme with the necessary CEB connections so that the farm could be fully operational. Mrs. Gokhool has purchased a water tank along with a water pump for the operation site. As there is a shortage of water in this region, the support from SME Mauritius has been highly beneficial to Mrs. Gokhool.


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