121 Bangladeshi workers arrive in Seychelles in boost to agricultural sectorBusiness |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | August 25, 2021, Wednesday @ 16:38| 4019 views
The minister of employment and her counterpart responsible for agriculture visited various farms around the country to identify the challenges faced in the sector. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - More than 100 Bangladeshi nationals have joined the workforce in Seychelles in a bid to boost the agricultural sector, said a top employment official on Wednesday.
Out of the 121 Bangladeshi nationals who left their country last Friday on a chartered flight, only 25 were newly recruited workers.
The director general for labour migration at the department of employment, Benilda Cupidon, told SNA that most of those coming to Seychelles are workers who had been stranded in their home country as a result of the pandemic.
"The large group of employees coming into the country is not only due to the ministerial visits held recently. There are also some employers whose workers had gone home and found themselves stuck there as a result of COVID-19," said Cupidon.
The Seychelles archipelago in the western Indian Ocean embarked on a drive to boost its agricultural sector over the last few months with the aim of making it one of the pillars of its economy, which is currently heavily reliant on the tourism industry.
The minister of employment, Patricia Francourt, accompanied by her counterpart responsible for agriculture, Flavien Joubert, visited various farms around the country to identify the challenges faced in the sector and determine strategies to address them.
One of the challenges consistently highlighted was the fact that many of the farms were having trouble recruiting enough local manpower.
Meanwhile, the department of employment is asking all employers to find ways to attract Seychellois nationals to their enterprises.
So far figures from the department showed that for the period of January to May this year it issued around 3,000 new Gainful Occupation Permits (GOP), out of which 1,300 were for the construction sector. The agricultural and forestry sector received 45 new workers, with 105 GOP renewals.
Earlier this month, the minister for agriculture said that the sector contributes only 2 percent to Seychelles' economy. Fisheries contributes 20 percent; the biggest contributor is tourism.