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Fisheries and Agriculture

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture: |17 July 2023

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture:

Farmers’ field visit

Expert mission empowers Seychelles' bio-fertiliser development


In a significant stride towards sustainable agriculture practices, the Crop Research Section of the Agriculture department recently spearheaded an expert mission on bio-fertiliser development.

Led by expert Dr Kwai Hoe Phua Choo from Nuclear Malaysia, the July 3 to 7, 2023 project under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aimed to revolutionise nutrient management practices and foster food security while preserving environmental sustainability.

With a clear objective to assess institutional capacity and provide training on bio-fertiliser development and nuclear technology utilisation, the expert mission paved the way for innovative advancements in the agricultural landscape of Seychelles.

The Agriculture department facilitated site visits to key facilities, including the Crop Research Station, Plant Health Lab, and Soil and Plant Diagnostic Lab, allowing the expert to gain firsthand insight into the institutional capacity within the department.

These visits provided valuable context and laid the foundation for further collaboration.

Recognising the importance of practical understanding, the mission extended its reach to farmers' fields, enabling the expert to grasp the nature of local agricultural practices. This approach ensured that future initiatives and interventions align harmoniously with the Seychellois context, resulting in tailored solutions for our farmers.

The other focus of the expert mission was a three-day training programme attended by agricultural scientists, technicians, and officers from various sections within the Agriculture department.

Drawing from her extensive experience, Ms Phua Choo shared success stories from Malaysia, highlighting the revolutionary impact of radiation technology in bio-fertiliser production and application.

The training delved into diverse topics essential to bio-fertiliser development. Participants explored the intricacies of formulating bio-fertiliser carriers and developing bio-organic fertilisers, tapping into nature's potential to optimise crop nutrition sustainably.

Further, the mission shed light on radiation mutagenesis, a groundbreaking technique to enhance the functionality of bio-fertiliser microorganisms.

Practical sessions conducted in the Soil Lab allowed participants to witness firsthand the isolation techniques for bio-fertiliser microbes, empowering them with hands-on skills crucial for future endeavours.

One of the notable accomplishments of the expert mission was the successful isolation of a nitrogen-fixing bacterium and a phosphate-solubilising bacterium. These breakthrough findings will serve as the basis for further research and testing, bolstering Seychelles' efforts to develop locally tailored bio-fertiliser solutions.

The dynamic discussions held during the mission centered around the development of bio-fertilisers in Seychelles. Participants collaborated on proposal creation, experiment design, and strategic planning, focusing on defining activities for implementation in the short, medium, and long term.

The expert mission on bio-fertiliser development resonates with the unwavering commitment of the Agriculture department towards sustainable agriculture practices. By leveraging the expertise of Ms Phua Choo and the collaborative platform provided by the IAEA SEY 5013 project, Seychelles is poised to embrace a greener revolution in agriculture. As the nation strides forward, optimising nutrient management, enhancing food security, and safeguarding the environment, the positive impact on Seychellois farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole promises a brighter and more sustainable future.



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