Seychelles’ agricultural department has decided to impose restrictions on the importation of chicken with the aim of increasing the sale of locally produced chickens, a top official said on Tuesday.
The statement was made by Flavien Joubert, the minister responsible for agriculture in an interview with reporters.
This measure is being taken after many local chicken producers have expressed facing problems selling their products as people favour the cheaper imported kinds.
“One of the measures we have decided to take is to have a quota on the amount of chicken that is imported in the country,” said Joubert.
He said that a committee will be set up in January to work on a plan to ensure that any decision taken will not affect the price of chicken in the country.
“It is not our intention to make the product more expensive for the population but we want to ensure the livelihoods of local producers and hopefully, with more sales, we will see the prices drop,” added Joubert.
It is with a bid to increase the sale of locally produced chicken that the decision has been taken, as the agriculture department looks to bolster local production, in a country that relies heavily on importation for most of its food products.
Other measures will include stricter measures on imported chicken to ensure that the meat is of good quality, while the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) will be buying more locally produced chicken to sell at its outlets.
There will also be work to ensure that the locally produced chicken is of a good standard with better quality abattoirs created and more will be done to encourage the sale of chicken parts rather than whole chickens.
“We are working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the veterinary service to develop a national residue programme, which will see us test for antibiotics and hormones in meat, both locally and imported,” said the laboratory technologist at the Public Health Authority (PHA), Sylvette Labrosse.
This will help in ensuring that the quality of meat in the country is of a good standard.
There are 15 importers of chicken in Seychelles with most of the imports coming from Brazil, Ukraine and the Netherlands. As for producers, there are currently 14 active chicken producers in Seychelles.  
The Principal Secretary for Agriculture, Keven Nancy, said, “We had a meeting earlier today with a number of importers who have reacted positively to the measures, where they even expressed a desire to buy chicken from the local producers as well.”
Joubert also shared that there are plans to have a centralised cold storage system, where producers will be able to store and even sell their own products all in one place.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, imports 90 percent of its food and has in the past two years started refining its plans for food security.

Source: Seychelles News Agency