The assessment was done by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. (Gerard Larose)
After almost one year of assessing the food control system of Seychelles, a number of recommendations are now being finalised and will be presented to the government for necessary actions.
The assessment was done by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and focal persons from each of their respective authorities were done before work started to evaluate Seychelles’ food control system.
The findings of the assessment were presented in a final workshop on Friday where those present were able to seek clarification and make other propositions.
“Now, the findings, recommendations and action plan will be finalised and later on presented to the government of Seychelles for action,” said the local consultant to the project, Guy Morel.
The programme aims to increase governance, expand capacities, and enhance strategic planning in relation to two key areas – plant health and food safety.
The project’s food safety component was first put into practice in the Comoros, where the evaluation recently came to a close last month with high-level officials supporting its findings and suggestions.
In Seychelles, the project activities began in November 2022.
A team of FAO food safety experts worked closely with local competent authorities for food safety and all local partners throughout the project’s activities. The team assisted in gathering information from various local authorities and in creating a strategic plan aimed at enhancing the nation’s public health and economic development.
A total of 35 recommendations were made after the assessment, with 13 of them considered priority recommendations.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, relies heavily on food imports.
In a previous interview, Flavien Joubert, the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, said that such a system is important as Seychelles depends on the global food production and distribution system for a significant portion of its food basket.
“Almost 90 percent of our food commodities are imported including our staple, which collectively accounts to close to 30 percent of our importation bill,” he said.
The project, co-signed by the government of the Seychelles, falls within the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework for Africa developed by the African Union (AU) to spur trade among AU member states.
It was implemented in close collaboration with the African Commission Division for Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DARBE).
A national food control system ensures that food available within a country is safe, wholesome, and fit for human consumption, conforms to food safety and quality requirements and is honestly and accurately labelled as prescribed by the law.
Food control systems protect the health and safety of consumers and help assure the safety and quality of foods being traded both nationally and internationally.
In order to operate effectively, the system requires appropriate legal and policy instruments, well-qualified human resources, sound institutional frameworks as well as financial assets, equipment and infrastructure.