Located northeast of Madagascar, the Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands. They are home to 92,900 inhabitants, three fourths of whom live on the main island of Mahé.
Economic growth during the last 20 years has been led by tourism and industrial fisheries, both sectors kick-started by substantive public investment. The growth rate of agriculture has been lagging behind.
While Seychelles records the highest GDP per capita in Africa ($15,629 in 2017), its economy is particularly threatened by climate change.
Agricultural land is scarce and local food production is limited. It consists mainly of artisanal fishing and small-scale cultivation of fruits and vegetables, as well as production of meat and poultry, the latter for eggs. Seychelles is a net importer of food and many other basic commodities.
Poverty rates in Seychelles are expected to remain among the lowest in the world outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. About 17 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, set at 13,554 Seychelles rupees (approximately US$1,055).
Youth unemployment is about three times higher than national unemployment. Young females face unemployment rates nine percentage points higher than young males.
In the Seychelles, IFAD is working to improve the livelihoods of rural Seychellois through activities that support food security, income generation, building of assets and increased resilience to climate change and economic shocks.
Our country strategic opportunities programme supports the agriculture and fisheries sectors, aiding government efforts to increase consumption of local produce in the tourism industry while improving the nutritional status of the population.
Given the country is a small island developing state with a fragile ecosystem, resilience to climate change and innovative sustainable agricultural and fishing practices are important and have been incorporated into all IFAD programmes and projects.
Activities target market-oriented producers, the majority of whom are young people, and participants in value chains in the crop, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The IFAD country strategic opportunities programme has two main objectives, focused on:
- improving agricultural value chains and increasing opportunities for young agribusinesses and entrepreneurs;
- promoting and scaling up advanced techniques of land management (e.g. mechanization, terracing), water management (e.g. on-farm irrigation), farming practices and fisheries management, through improved agricultural extension and support services delivery systems.
The Seychelles has the highest GDP per capita in Africa ($15,476 in 2015).
Seychelles’ economy expanded strongly in 2015, by 4.3 per cent, but it relies heavily on tourism and tuna exports and is particularly threatened by climate change.
Since 1991, IFAD has supported two programmes in the country for a total of US$4.1 million, benefiting 5,520 poor rural households.