A group of Seychellois farmers has received beekeeping equipment as part of a project to help develop and increase the honey trade in Seychelles.
The farmers who attended training sessions to gain the required skills needed to keep bees, received hives, bee suits, and smokers in a small ceremony on Thursday at the training ground of the Beekeepers Association of Seychelles located at Union Vale.
The donation of equipment is part of a project that the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is conducting with four island nations namely Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar and Zanzibar. The project which started in 2017 aims to increase food security and generate more income opportunities for smallholder farmers in the four participating nations.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, held a series of training sessions for 48 farmers coming for the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
“The training we held taught the farmers how to look after their bees as this activity has not been too popular in the past. They now have a start that they can build upon,” said Jose Guerreiro, the focal person.
In the training sessions, local beekeepers learned about beekeeping technologies and pollination services among others.

Training sessions were held with 48 farmers coming for the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Bees play roles to keep the biodiversity intact and to the continuous supply of fruits and vegetables through pollination without which fruit, seeds and vegetables production would be severely be affected.
On his side, the principal secretary of agriculture, Keven Nancy said that “we expect to see more locally produced honey on the market as a result. We will also see more local fruits on the market because bees are also responsible for pollination.”
A participant in the training Marie-Vonne  Zarine who inherited an interest in beekeeping from her father said that the training was quite useful “as there are illnesses affecting bees overseas that we were unaware of that we now understand and can look out for.”
The Beekeepers Association of Seychelles – which is closely involved with this initiative – also received a processing unit as part of the IFAD project, to teach all those interested how honey is produced.
Seychelles has embarked on a drive to diversify its agricultural sector and Nancy said that the move to encourage farmers to have beehives will help develop niche markets and bring in additional benefits “as local honey is among the best and can become an income earner”.

Source: Seychelles News Agency