Among the subjects raised was the status of wholesale markets, post-harvest processes, and marketing of local products with retailers. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles and the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) discussed the need to analyse scientific data regarding suitable food types for the Indian Ocean region and the concern about excessive imports during a recent visit of an FAO representative.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Charles Boliko, the FAO representative for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles, led a diplomatic mission in the country with the aim of renewing the commitment to fortify the agricultural and fisheries sectors.
Boliko met with the Seychelles’ Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy, Flavien Joubert, and the Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari on Monday, together with other high level government officials.
During the discussion, Joubert said 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.
The FAO visit followed a recent food system summit in Rome, Italy, where there was a collective agreement that more focus should be placed on African small island developing states (SIDS) due to their vulnerability.
Joubert highlighted the challenge of allocating agricultural land for development and the need to find ways to cultivate on a small scale in view of the scarcity of land.
|Boliko (first sitting on the right) met with Ministers Joubert and Ferrari on Monday. (Department of Agriculture) Photo License: CC-BY|
The principal secretary for agriculture, Keven Nancy, talked about the status of wholesale markets, post-harvest processes, and marketing of local products with retailers. This shows the importance of creating a robust and streamlined agricultural supply chain.
On his side, Boliko applauded the recent national anti-obesity campaign in Seychelles aimed at promoting 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,” he added.
Boliko said that the establishment of a well-trained farmers’ cooperative will help 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,” said the FAO representative.
The discussions following the summit highlighted the need for holistic and sustainable approaches to agricultural development.
They also put emphasis on local production, efficient resource management, and community collaboration, particularly in vulnerable regions such as African SIDS.
There was a shared commitment among the delegates to continue working closely and collaboratively to ensure an efficient food system for Seychelles.
Meanwhile, the FAO is currently assisting Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, with an assessment of the island nation’s food control system.
Seychelles relies heavily on food imports and such a system is important for the island nation, which depends on the global food production and distribution system for a significant portion of its food basket.