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Seychelles Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture in Seychelles is limited and not enough to meet the country's need for food. Fishing, on the other hand, is a key industry. Canned tuna is the country's most important export commodity.
Agriculture was the Seychelles' main industry before tourism began to develop in the 1970s. The cultivated area has since then reduced to a maximum of one third of the previous area. There are a number of large farms, about 650 small farms and a lot of small lots that are managed part time. Many of the former state-owned farms have been privatized. In the early 2000s, land was distributed to small farmers. In addition, roads and irrigation opportunities were improved.
The state seeks self-sufficiency of vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products, and encourages the cultivation of, among other things, bananas, mangoes and avocados. The land is self-sufficient for poultry and eggs. The number of pigs has increased sharply, but animal feed has to be imported.
Food, along with tobacco and beverages, account for up to a quarter of the country's imports, although the proportion is slowly being squeezed. However, the conditions for extensive agriculture are limited, the cultivable area is small and the soil quality is low.
The most important export crops have traditionally been copper (dried coconut meat), frozen fish and cinnamon, but since the late 1980s tuna canned is by far the largest export product. However, cinnamon, in the form of bark, and coconut are still sold. Some copra is pressed locally for oil and the residues are used for animal feed. Small scale exports are also carried out by patschuli (used in perfume making), vanilla, tea and lime.
The Seychelles fishing zone extends over one million square kilometers. Fishing is conducted both on a small scale for local use and on a larger scale for export. Most catches are bonito (which is related to mackerel) and yellowfin tuna. Consumption of fish is among the highest in the world, averaging over 50 kilos per inhabitant per year.
Important income also comes from the sale of licenses to foreign fishing vessels. A new six-year fisheries agreement with the EU became clear in 2014. This means that the Union provides financial support to Seychelles in exchange for being allocated a certain catch quota.
Concern for overfishing led the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) in 2017 to reduce catch quotas for yellowfin tuna 2017 by 15 percent.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
2.0 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
3.4 percent (2016)
Seychelles joins ICC
Seychelles joins the ICC.
New anti-piracy laws
New legislation is being adopted to combat the Somali piracy in Seychelles. The presence of pirates has resulted in a significant drop in fish catches.