Agricultural producers, stakeholders learn importance of data collection, management |02 July 2022
Different stakeholders in agriculture as well as agricultural producers gathered earlier this week in a half-day education and awareness training session to learn more on a Southern African Development Community project to allow each member state to have a database on agriculture as well as a regional platform of agricultural data.
Held at Eden Bleu hotel, the training session was launched by the principal secretary for agriculture Keven Nancy. He said in his remarks that the project which is being funded by the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) aims to help Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including Seychelles address numerous challenges faced by their agricultural sector.
“The aim of the project for Seychelles is to boost the capacity of farmers and other partners in the agricultural production chain, to better understand and control pests and diseases through effective data collection,” said PS Nancy.
He explained that the bio-security sector also stands to benefit as the project will improve its capacity to prevent pests and diseases from entering and spreading in the country.
Danny Agathine, a local consultant for the project, noted that a sum of US $7.05 million has been earmarked for the project in all SADC member states and Seychelles has received US $120,000 of which 25% has already been spent on equipment to collect, store and transport blood samples from different farm animals, among others.
Mr Agathine further noted that all SADC member states have to put in place a modern and standardised information system which would be used for decision-making purposes nationally, on a regional level or by any individual who want to venture in any agriculture-related business.
All the different information systems of the SADC member states will be interconnected to allow for information sharing on numerous issues.
In Seychelles, a well-established and good coordinated Agriculture Information Management System (AIMS) is almost nonexistent even though some form of data are being kept by different government departments in Excel and other formats. There is the need to have a synchronised system which will enable sharing of information in a more accurate, reliable and timely manner.
in her presentations, Sandra Sinon, the focal person for AIMS, noted that all the information collected from farmers and agricultural producers on all that Seychelles produces as well as other related information and data will feature on a regional system to be disseminated to a larger public.
Its objective is to facilitate the harmonisation and standardisation of data and to have available timely agricultural information such as production and yields, pesticide use, pests and diseases, competition among others for policy planning and decision making.
The expected output of the project is to have in place a systematic information sharing system with information available for all member states, farmers and members of the public.
An AIMS web application has been developed to be used to feed information into the database. An operation manual has also been developed to come up with a common understanding on various concept methods and formulas for aggregated indicators to be used
A national AIMS committee comprising different stakeholders will be formed to validate data and information before they are posted on the AIMS platform.
Ms Sinon is calling on all farmers and agricultural producers to contact Seychelles Agricultural Agency officials who will come to their farms to collect the necessary information for the database.
“It is important that we receive credible information,” Ms Sinon said.