Fresh Way farm aiming to boost local food production


27-July-2012

The owner of the farm, Guynemer Corgat, says his vision is to be self-sufficient as far as local food production is concerned.

Mr Corgat has a permit for 225 sows which allow him to produce between 3600 to 4500 piglets in total per year. He also has a permit for 8000 broilers per batch and he produces a total of 45,000 broilers on an annual basis. But at present he is not meeting this target due to a lack of day old chicks in the country. 

Also the owner of Fresh Cuts, Mr Corgat has some very ambitious plans for the continued development of his farm which has an area of between 60,000 -70,000 square metres.

A month ago during a visit conducted in the area by the Minister for Natural Resources and Industry Peter Sinon, Mr Corgat brought several of his concerns to his attention and to that of the principal secretary in the same ministry, Michel Nalletamby, as well as several high officials from the Seychelles Agricultural Agency (SAA).

One of his concerns is related to an expatriate animal husbandry manager he has recruited but who is a veterinary technician and not a veterinary doctor with a license. Therefore, he cannot administrate certain types of medicine to animals and this is posing him certain difficulties.

Unavailability or scarcity of certain types of medicine in the stores and the fact that they are two to three times more expensive than if he was to import them himself is another constraint.

The high interest rates that banks place on loans for the farming community is also an impediment to the development of his business, according to Mr Corgate.

It is to be noted that this issue has been brought to the attention of the government through various ministries, the SAA, as well as at different forums.

Mr Corgat noted that the government could come up with a mechanism whereby farmers could borrow money on a sort of flat rate basis.

“This will encourage farmers to borrow and invest or improve their existing farms to achieve better yields,” he said.

Mr Corgat further stressed that it is impossible for a small farming community like in Seychelles to borrow money at the present rate of interest which he has described as “exorbitant”.

He also believes that the government should put the same emphasis on farming as on the fishing industry.

He said if we improve and increase what we produce locally, even though we will not be a hundred percent self-sufficient, we could meet some of our needs if any major problems were to arise in the world.

Mr Corgat said he has no doubt that food produced locally is of a better quality than imported processed food.

His vision is to be independent in local food production. His plans include importing any raw materials which are not available in the country and anything that will help him to increase production and this include bringing in his own chicks or eggs to hatch, import his animal feed, build his own abattoir, and sell his produce on a larger scale.

In line with encouraging the development and use of renewable energy, Mr Corgat is also considering producing his own bio-gas to convert into electricity power for use on his farm and any surplus he said he will sell to the PUC.  

Mr Corgat also has plans to continue extending his farm in order to boost production of fruit like bananas and oranges and also livestock.

Presently he has a water storage capacity of 1.7 million litres and he intends to increase that to 2.5 million litres. The water is sourced from the river and rain water harvesting from the roof of his farm infrastructure.

(The accompanying photos were taken during the ministerial visit on Mr Corgat’s farm at Val D’Andorre)

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