Seychelles eyes new law to protect agricultural land in bid for increased food security

Seychelles is planning to put in place a law that will protect agricultural land from being used for other types of development, a top government official said last week.

A workshop on agricultural land evaluation was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with the support of the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

Antoine-Marie Moustache, the principal secretary for agriculture, said evaluations will be carried out in which there will be a thorough assessment of all agricultural land. The evaluation will aim at finding out what state the land is in, the land’s location and whether the land is being used for agricultural purposes.

“During the 1980s and 1990s, the country lost approximately 25,000 hectares of agricultural land to other sectors. Some of these plots of land have not been developed or have been converted into residential areas. If we do not take stock now and put a stop to it, we will slowly lose what is left for agriculture,” said Moustache.

According to the Seychelles National Agricultural Investment Plan 2015-2020, there are 500 hectares of land that are being used for agriculture. The state owns 300 hectares while the remaining 200 are privately owned. The state lands are leased to individuals for specific periods and the minimum lease period is ten years.

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