Effort under way to revive local meat production sector


13-January-2012

                  The livestock sector is essential to sustain the vegetable and fruit production sector

This is aimed at putting this important sector of our economy back on its feet after it collapsed as a result of various difficulties it encountered in the wake of government’s decision in 2010 to remove all control on meat being imported in the country.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Agricultural Agency (SAA) Antoine-Marie Moustache said this week that the Ministry of Finance and Trade, in collaboration with the SAA and the Seychelles Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative (SFMC), have sought international help to carry out a complete assessment of the livestock sector, including a value-chain analysis – a process that looks at every step a business goes through, from raw materials to the eventual end-user. The goal is to deliver maximum value for the least possible total cost.

Mr Moustache said that the exercise will identify all the problems the livestock sector is facing and come up with recommendations and propositions to tackle them.

“The aim is to redress the present situation and breathe new life into the local meat production sector,” said Mr Moustache.

Two technical experts from South Africa and a mission from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) were in the country in November to conduct the first phase of the assessment and a second mission of two FAO experts is currently in the country.

Mr Moustache said the month-long mission is expected to collect sufficient information and data which will be submitted to the authorities by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, with regard to the recent closure of the animal feed production factory, Mr Moustache said that the SAA has been studying various animal feeds import sources.

He noted that feeds imported from Mauritius have been accepted to be of good quality and can be brought in at affordable prices.

Another possibility being considered is to obtain day-old chicks from the same source and also from Holland, where until recently only eggs were being imported.

In parallel to all these developments, Mr Moustache said the SAA and the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) are in discussions on the setting up of a unit which will handle local agricultural produce.

“An announcement relating to that is expected to be made in the coming weeks,” added Mr Moustache.

Mr Moustache noted it is important that the livestock sector is revived so that local producers can go back in production.

He explained that this sector is essential to sustain the vegetable and fruit production sector, adding that the latter cannot rely solely on inorganic fertilisers as these can have disastrous effects on our environment.

He further explained that in 2007 the livestock sector was producing 1000 tons of manure every six weeks and these were consumed entirely by the fruit and vegetable sector and was barely enough.

Stressing on the fact that these two sectors complement each other, Mr Moustache noted that the SAA will continue to give support to farmers and livestock producers in any way it can.
 
He further noted that at present large livestock production facilities lie idle as producers who have invested heavily in them remain hopeful for any forthcoming decisions.

But Mr Moustache is optimistic that a solution would be found to revive the livestock production sector.

M-A.L.

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