Seychelles has launched an appeal at the 40th session of IFAD’s Governing Council held at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, on 14th and 15th February for international support to boost the growth of its blue economy especially for small fishers and farmers to improve their contributions to the economy.
Seychelles represented by Ambassador Bernard Shamlaye, the Seychelles Governor for IFAD and its Permanent Representative, and Mr Michael Nalletamby, Principal Secretary – Fisheries and Agriculture, noted that small farmers and fishers can contribute to sustainable tourism while also benefitting directly from the country’s major economic sector.
The delegation urged that the potential for small fishers to participate in and benefit from the country’s Blue Economy initiative should be realised through appropriate support.
It commended IFAD on working in complementarity with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other multilateral organisations and welcomed its support to regional cooperation initiatives, notably in the Indian Ocean area.
In its statement to the Governing Council session, the Seychelles delegation referred to the steady progress made by the Competitive Local Initiatives for Small-scale Agriculture (CLISSA) project started three years ago and which will be completed next year. Valuable knowledge and experience have been gained through the implementation of the project by its management team and the stakeholders involved and discussions have started with IFAD on a follow up project focused on capacity building in agribusiness for small farmers and fishers.
The delegation highlighted the development challenges of small island developing states in the face of climate change as well as world economic uncertainties. IFAD was recognised as a valuable development partner with the activities it supports reaching where they are most needed.
The Governing Council elected Mr Gilbert Houngbo from Togo as the next president of IFAD. He succeeds Mr Kanayo Nwanze who has been president for the last eight years.
Mr Nwanze made a working visit to Seychelles in March 2013, at the time that Seychelles and IFAD were negotiating the CLISSA project.