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Fisheries and Agriculture

Local farmers hail study tour in Israel as fruitful |01 August 2023

Local farmers hail study tour in Israel as fruitful

The farmers during the meeting yesterday with Minister Joubert

● Share their experience with agriculture minister


By Patrick Joubert


Eight local farmers who recently took part in an agricultural study tour in Nazareth, Israel have shared their experience with the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment during a meeting held yesterday afternoon at the ministry’s headquarters, Kingsgate House.

The eight were Danny Agathine (Val d’Andorre Farmers Association), Nelson Renaud (Local Food Producers Association), Pirson Nibourette (La Digue Island), Roger Morel (La Digue Farmers Association), Dilan Bastienne (Au Cap), Roddy Rose (Baie Ste Anne Farmers Association), Sony Banane (Seychelles Farmers Association) and Basil Hoareau (Agriculture Producers Association Seychelles). They were accompanied by Sandra Sinon, the chief extension officer from the agriculture department.

The aim of the study tour was for them to acquire additional knowledge and skills on climate-smart technologies and other agro-techniques in crop production, so as to enhance eco-friendly crop production, adaptable to the impact of climate change. It was also to inspire them to modernise their farms.

The ten-day expedition tour from June 18 to 28, was organised through the Israel Agency for International Development and Cooperation (MASHAV) with the assistance of the Avara International Centre for Agricultural Training (AICAT), in partnership with the Kedar GAP, which is currently working in partnership with the Seychelles Islands Development Company (IDC) on the Food Security Project on Coëtivy Island.

The farmers learned various types of farming techniques related to irrigation and fertilisation, among others, to improve production.

Speaking to the press after yesterday’s meeting, Minister Joubert said the visit fits within the ministry’s strategy to improve crop production in the country as well as to encourage schools’ entrance into the sector.

As part of its core mandate, the ministry through its Agriculture department has the mission to ensure food security by sustainably increase the volume of local production.

In order to increase local production, it is therefore imperative that the ministry strengthens the capacity and core capabilities of the key stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector, which includes the local food producers.

“We would like to improve on their production techniques. In the short term, what we expect to see is that they take up these new technologies that will conserve our resources and also technologies that will help us produce better on the land available, given that we do not have enough space for agricultural production,” said Minister Joubert.

As for the long-term benefit, Minister Joubert said the ministry would like to see a transformation in the agricultural sector where people adopt better technology, have better value chains and more interactions between the consumers and the producers.

He said the ministry has established contact with the Israeli agriculture authorities for other collaborations including research, modernising Seychelles’ farming and to expose other farmers to similar visit.

At yesterday’s meeting, the farmers shared their experiences, and also discussed how the ministry could further support them to adopt these technologies as well as share their knowledge with their other colleagues.

Nelson Renaud, who runs a farm at Anse à la Mouche, said the tour was very fruitful, as he gained experience on new methods of doing mass cultivation of fruits, crops and vegetables on limited land, how to use modern irrigation techniques, composting and the use of parasitoid for pest control, which is natural, instead of pesticide.

He added the tour was also a chance for them to share knowledge and learn about each other’s farm and production techniques.

“The tour was interesting and we are now excited and driven to come and implement some of the lessons learnt on our farms. We are grateful to the government for offering us this opportunity to learn about what is going on in agriculture outside Seychelles,” said Mr Renaud, adding he has already started to install some irrigation system, using sprinklers and drippers, to control water and nutrients to his fruits, crops and vegetables, which he was previously doing manually.

This was echoed by his colleague, Roddy Rose, who runs a farm at Cap Samy, Baie St Anne Praslin, who said he was now looking forward to collaborate with Israeli suppliers to be able to purchase modern agricultural equipment to improve his farm.

Chief extension officer, Mrs Sinon, said they have already established contacts with the Israeli suppliers for the new agriculture technologies.

Also present at yesterday’s meeting was the principal secretary for Agriculture, Kevin Nancy. 


Photos by Patrick Joubert





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