#YesWeKann. This is the leitmotif of the awareness campaign launched by Terra and Alteo, which aims to present the local sugarcane industry in a different light: modern, sustainable, resilient and de facto viable. The 2022 Cup, which started a few weeks ago, is the ideal moment to highlight the full potential of this sector which still occupies a strategic place in the socio-economic landscape of Mauritius. This campaign with its unifying message speaks of an “industry with multiple possibilities”, highlighting the new technologies and the jobs of tomorrow of this sector deeply rooted in our culture. A sector that must also be protected, notably by avoiding fires in the sugarcane fields…

The sugarcane industry is a foundation for growth and a driver for the future. “We believe in the sugarcane industry, which has evolved significantly and is now taking a forward-looking approach. Through this campaign, we want to shine a light on the sugarcane industry as a whole, honor the men and women who make up the industry, show the younger generation the opportunities it holds – today, drones fly over the fields while GPS-enabled harvesters operate with limited human intervention. We also want to demonstrate its valuable contribution to the economy but also to the environment. The cane industry can have a positive multiplier effect on the island’s economic growth and job creation, among other things,” says Sebastien Mamet, Managing Director of Terragri Ltd.
This sector has undergone a significant evolution over the years, particularly through the adoption of new technologies. “Today, mechanization, automation and precision are the watchwords of the industry. For example, factories are equipped with extremely precise measuring and calibration tools to ensure they meet the strictest standards. This more modern approach is an opportunity for our teams to improve their skills, by discovering new technologies, but it also shows the evolution of our industry, which today offers high value-added jobs,” says Arnaud d’Unienville, Chief Operations Officer – Agricultural Activities at Alteo.

An example of the circular economy

He also emphasizes the close link between the sugarcane industry and the country’s sustainable development, a subject of today and tomorrow: “Beyond sugar, it should be remembered that sugarcane is a significant source of renewable energy thanks to bagasse, sugarcane straw and ethanol. This industry therefore has a leading role to play in Mauritius’ energy transition. Moreover, by valorizing these by-products, the sugarcane industry is an example of circular economy that our country can be proud of.
The #YesWeKann campaign aims to highlight the various aspects of the sugarcane industry, through four themes: the valorization of the industry and its trades; the economic efficiency of the sector; the role of the public and the authorities in the development of the industry and the contribution of sugarcane in green energy. It also aims to raise awareness of the dangers of fires in the sugarcane fields.
“These fires have a considerable impact on both the economy and the environment and represent a real danger to residents and homes around the sugarcane fields. In addition, the burnt straw cannot be recovered to be used as fuel in our power plants, thus reducing the production of renewable energy, not to mention the negative impact on future regrowth,” says Sébastien Mamet. This is a plea that the Mauritius Police Force and SWAN are also joining, as they are working with all the stakeholders in the sector to combat these fires.