R3m boost for farmers’ body


SeyFA chairman Serge Benstrong announced this yesterday, saying a drive to convince Seychellois that locally produced foods are better and not necessarily more expensive – weight for weight – is succeeding.

The growth of SeyFA’s from 25 to 120 members in two years was another factor that made the organisation qualify for the funds, and Mr Benstrong is urging more small scale farmers to join the body.

He told Nation that the organisation will use the funds to help farmer gain better access to vital markets and to also focus on crops and livestock that do well in Seychelles, for example pigs and poultry, while drawing the potential of Praslin to produce more vegetables which do best there.

“SeyFA will benefit from a grant of 200,938 euros, which is about R3,215,008 from the Support to Farmers’ Organisation in Africa Programme (SFOAP),” he said, adding the money will be spent over a period of five years in projects to be implemented by the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (Sacau).

“This follows the successful implementation and experience of the pilot phase done from July 2010 to December 2012.

“The project’s goal is to improve the livelihoods and food security situation of African smallholder farmers and rural producers,” he said in a press release.

He said the project aims to help farmers’ organisations evolve into stable, performing, accountable bodies able to effectively represent their members and advise farmers in their work.
Countries taking part in similar projects are Lesotho, Madagascar, Swaziland, Seychelles, Namibia and Tanzania.

The project is giving support to farmers’ bodies by addressing and supporting their main functions and policies, and will contribute to making them more professional and accountable to their members.

“In addition, it will also be striving to support the attempts of farmers’ organisations to give economic services to their members. All programmed activities, systems or strategies that will benefit from SFOAP resources will be based on Sacau and other strategic plans.

“The project will comprise three major components around which activities will be organised,” he said.

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