Comesa supports Seychelles’ food security drive


The Comesa delegation during a meeting with officials of the Seychelles Agricultural Agency

The delegation was led by Dr Sam Kanyarukiga, CAADP coordinator at the Comesa secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia. He was accompanied by Dr Nalishebo Meebelo, the programme’s deputy coordinator and Walter Talma, Seychelles’ country officer at the Comesa and the programme manager for the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

During its four-day mission, the delegation held talks with Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon, principal secretary Michel Nalletamby and officials from the Seychelles Agricultural Agency.

During the talks, Minister Sinon expressed Seychelles’ desire to accelerate the realisation of the programme.

Minister Sinon informed the delegation that much had been done towards finalising the Seychelles National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (SNAIP) since September 2011, when the National CAADP was signed by key stakeholders in the Seychelles agriculture sector. 

Among some of the milestones achieved so far are: the initial drafting of the Seychelles food security policy, the strengthening of capacities among key stakeholder groups, and some preliminary work on the SNAIP. 
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Industry has put together a team of experts who is preparing the SNAIP document.
“I don’t want to see a situation where the CAADP process continues to drag on,” Minister Sinon told the visiting delegation.

He thanked the Comesa and its different partners for all the support that Seychelles has received so far to ensure it is among the many African countries seeking to guarantee that agriculture and food security are given due attention in the development agenda of their economies.

Minister Sinon stressed that, in spite of the recent natural disaster that had befallen Seychelles and caused major flooding in some key agriculture producing locations of the island, this set- back should not deter the progress already made in advancing the CAADP process and the food and nutrition security agenda.
He explained that the government is doing everything it can to help the sector following the floodings.

He said this experience will compel the SNAIP to highlight the issue of developing effective drainage and reliable water control systems under the CAADP Pillar I.
Dr Kanyarukiga, for his part, reiterated the need for good coordination in the agriculture sector and stressed the need for key ministries such as Finance, Trade and Investment to be more involved.
He noted with satisfaction progress made so far in moving forward the design of the SNAIP.  The Comesa has pledged its commitment to supporting the process further by providing relevant technical and organisational support.

Meanwhile, the government has tentatively set August 2013 as the date for the CAADP roundtable, also known as the CAADP post-compact high level business meeting during which resources are expected to be mobilised to carry out the SNAIP.

Prior to this meeting, the Comesa and its partners will carry out an independent technical review, to help refine the SNAIP.