Cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes among new trade products coming in from Kenya
Seychelles trade with Kenya in the 21 crop commodities was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers earlier this year. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles will start to trade 21 crop commodities with Kenya following a pest risk analysis undertaken on each crop, a top official of the Biosecurity Agency said on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, trade with Kenya in the 21 crop commodities was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Last year the island nation’s President Danny Faure and the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta entered into a wide-reaching agreement to enhance ties in trade and security.
This bilateral agreement also applies to importation of agricultural products. Seychelles imports most of its meat and poultry products from Brazil.
|President Faure and President Kenyatta entered into a wide-reaching agreement to enhance ties in trade and security on his visit last year.(State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
The chief executive of the National Biosecurity Agency, Marc Naiken said, “In line with our agreement with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), we need to conduct a pest risk analysis on every importation and export of goods.”
An analysis was done on the 21 crop commodities from Kenya including fruits and vegetables such as cabbage, mangoosteen, cauliflower, onion, tomato, potato, pepper, cucumber, and watermelon. This was to ensure that satisfactory risk management measures were in place to ensure safe trade.
Naiken told SNA that one of the factors when it comes to food security is how close you are to the market you are sourcing your goods, and Kenya is an ideal location for trade.
There is also the issue of having different risks associated with different countries.
“Each country has its own kind of risk. Therefore it will be easier to put in place defense mechanism when you are dealing with one country,” said Naiken.
In recent years the contribution of the agricultural sector to Seychelles’ economy has reduced due to several factors such as limited capacity in terms of land size, topography, natural and human resources.
The chief executive added that the importation of these goods will bring about the consistency of supply in the market and help stabilise local prices.
“The production of these commodities from local farmers is very minimal and our ability to consume surpasses that of which we produce. Hence, it will definitely compensate for demand in the market,” said Naiken.
He added that “Although some of these commodities are being produced locally like tomatoes, it is seasonal, and when there is not enough on the market, the price goes up.”
Naiken said that “if we start producing more in the future to satisfy the market, the lesser is the risk from importation.”
Along the same line, the Cabinet of Ministers also approved the construction of new infrastructures on Mahe and Praslin, the first and second most populated islands, to improve the quality and quantity of meat produced locally. These infrastructures include the construction of a modern abattoir as well as a hatchery unit.