Seychelles and China Enhance Bilateral Agricultural Relations

In a significant step towards fostering stronger ties between Seychelles and China, H.E. Mme Lin Nan, Ambassador-Designate of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Seychelles, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Flavien Joubert, Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Environment. The meeting, held this morning, marked the beginning of a promising collaboration between the two nations in environmental and agricultural initiatives.

Accompanying Minister Joubert were Ms. Catherina Bonnelame, the Executive Director of the Ministry, and Mr. Davis Mathiot, Third Secretary of Bilateral Affairs. Together, they welcomed H.E. Mme Lin Nan, who expressed her enthusiasm for reinforcing the longstanding bilateral relationship that has thrived between Seychelles and China for the past 45 years. Notably, this relationship has facilitated significant expertise and knowledge exchange across various sectors, underscoring the mutual benefits derived from collaboration.

Minister Joubert outlined three key agenda items for discussion with H.E. Mme Lin Nan. Firstly, he emphasized the importance of accelerating the South-South Low Carbon Pilot Project. This initiative holds great promise for enhancing Seychelles’ energy efficiency, aligning with the nation’s commitment to sustainability as articulated in its National Determined Contribution.

Minister Joubert highlighted China’s global leadership in renewable energy manufacturing, proposing exploration of opportunities in the Chinese market to support Seychelles’ energy goals.

Secondly, Minister Joubert aims to revisit and revitalize the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) previously signed with the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) in Hainan, China, prior to the COVID outbreak. Recognizing the shared climate characteristics between Seychelles and Hainan, the Agriculture Department is eager to collaborate and explore opportunities in climate-smart agriculture, innovative crop production techniques, and educational activities. These initiatives hold great potential for enhancing Seychelles’ agricultural sector, fostering resilience, and driving innovation.

The third agenda item focused on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), with a particular emphasis on integrating the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH) into the program. Minister Joubert stressed the importance of equipping students with practical skills and competencies essential for successful agricultural careers, thereby enhancing the workforce’s capabilities.

During discussions on environmental protection and climate change mitigation, Minister Joubert commended China’s proactive measures in managing pollution. H.E. Mme Lin Nan expressed her keen interest in Seychelles’ agricultural practices, signaling a mutual commitment to understanding and addressing local environmental challenges.

In a promising conclusion, both delegates agreed to explore the possibility of organizing a trade fair, in collaboration with Minister Devika Vidot, Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship, and Industry. Such an event aims to connect investors and suppliers across various markets, including agriculture, fostering economic growth and sustainability.

As Seychelles and China embark on this journey of collaboration, they reaffirm their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. Through dialogue and cooperation, both nations are poised to address pressing environmental challenges while unlocking new opportunities for mutual prosperity.

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