FAO Representative of Seychelles Spearheads Collaborative Efforts to Boost Agricultural and Fisheries Sectors

Mr. Charles Boliko, the distinguished FAO Representative of Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles, recently concluded a diplomatic mission in the country, signifying a renewed commitment to fortify the agricultural and fisheries sectors. Mr. Boliko chaired a meeting October 23 with the Minister responsible for Agriculture, Mr. Flavien Joubert accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. Keven Nancy, and Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Mr. Francois Ferrari. The delegation, known for their unwavering dedication to sustainable Agricultural development, convened at the Secretariat of the Minister of Fisheries, Maison Collet, on Monday afternoon.

Following the recent food system summit in Rome Italy, there seems to be a collective agreement that more focuses should to be place on African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to their vulnerability. On that note, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Flavien Joubert underline the challenge of allocating agricultural land for development, he further summarized the need to find ways to cultivate on a small scale, considering the scarcity of land. This implies the importance of maximizing the use of limited land resources for sustainable agricultural practices.

Furthermore, on the matter to increase local Food Production, Mr. Boliko applauds the National obesity campaign that will promote a healthier lifestyle and habits.

“By paying attention to local food produce, communities can potentially reduce reliance on imported goods, which may contribute to more balanced diets and healthier lifestyles,” said Mr. Boliko.

The discussion further evolved towards the new Solar Chiller on Praslin for storage facilities, which indicated a move towards improving post-harvest management. Minister Joubert highlighted that efficient storage facilities can help mitigate food wastage and extend the shelf life of perishable produce, thereby contributing to food security and sustainability.

The Principal Secretary for Agriculture, Mr. Keven Nancy centered his intervention on the status of wholesale markets, post-harvest processes, marketing of local products with retailers, which underscored the importance of creating a robust and streamlined agricultural supply chain

The call to analyze scientific data regarding suitable food types for Seychelles, alongside the concern of excessive imports, promoting local agricultural production and self-sustainability were amongst the critical points discussed in this meeting. Minister Joubert declared that understanding which foods are best suited for the region can lead to more informed decision-making in agricultural planning and policymaking, potentially reducing dependence on imports and promoting the moderation of imported food use.

Mr. Boliko’s proposal to establish a successful and well-trained farmers’ cooperative aligns to foster community support and collaboration within the agricultural sector. By empowering local farmers and encouraging cooperation, governments can effectively leverage their insights and expertise to make informed decisions that benefit the entire agricultural community, particularly the vulnerable farmers.

Overall, the discussions following the summit appear to highlight the need for holistic and sustainable approaches to agricultural development, with an emphasis on local production, efficient resource management, and community collaboration, particularly in vulnerable regions such as African SIDS. There was a shared commitment amongst the delegates to continue working closely and collaboratively to ensure an efficient food system for Seychelles.