‘Livestock sector - the challenge of challenges’


Minister Sinon (at podium) addressing delegates at the launch of the workshop yesterday

Minister Sinon was speaking during a workshop on national livestock policy yesterday at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino.
The workshop was organised by the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the Common Market for Eastern African countries (Comesa) and attended by top agriculture officials.

He recalled that the depreciation of the rupee, as part of Seychelles’ macro-economic reform programme in 2008, had made it more expensive to import the inputs to maintain livestock – at a time when imports were getting cheaper.

Mr Sinon said questions now being asked by himself as well as farmers, many of whom have stopped operations, include: Is it viable? Why do we want to do it? What policies should we adopt?
He said he is optimistic and as such, believes it is possible to revive a vibrant livestock sector.

He noted that foreign investors are interested in producing for the local market and also for export.
Mr Sinon was speaking after AU-IBAR director, Dr Baba Soumare, had said that the world economy’s import dynamics are offering opportunities for Africa to increase its share of agricultural exports.
He said that Africa, with vast stretches of land, has the potential to contribute significantly to alleviate poverty.

Dr Soumare, however, noted that Africa is also facing challenges from animal diseases, low access to some components of animal feed and climate change which often triggers natural disasters.

During the workshop, two of the delegates, Dr Christelle Dailoo and Jennifer Lesperance said the government had recently taken the first step to the establishment of a national bio-security services by combining the responsibilities of a phytosanitary and zoo sanitary services under the auspices of the Seychelles Agricultural Agency (SAA).

The joint plant and animal health service ensure compliance to a series of international conventions, agreements and other international obligations, particularly the agreements related to the World Trade Organisation.

The development of livestock production, especially poultry and pig farming for animal source food self-sufficiency and a robust bio-security service will certainly enhance performance.
That is provided the national livestock policies, legislation and regulatory mechanisms are modernised.

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