Cabinet to endorse master plan for aquaculture

WINDHOEK: The Master Plan for Aquaculture has been completed, and will be submitted to Cabinet soon for endorsement.

Fisheries and Marine Resources’ (MFMR) Minister Bernard Esau made the announcement during his budget motivation speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

The MFMR requested more than N.dollars 368 million for the 2014/2015 financial year.

The Master Plan identifies key areas, and provides a roadmap for the sustainable development of marine aquaculture in order to generate socio-economic benefits for Namibians.

“The Master Plan for Aquaculture has now been completed, and will be submitted to Cabinet for endorsement before the launch takes place during the 2014/2015 financial year.

The plan puts in place firm and pragmatic measures to kick-start and accelerate the nationwide freshwater aquaculture development which will ensure equitable access to natural, human and economic resources and opportunities, as well as create the platform for social justice for women, men and the youth,” he noted.

There are currently four aquaculture centres producing fingerlings for fish-production by fish farmers, cooperatives and the MFMR fish farms.

These centres are the Hardap inland aquaculture centre (HIAC), the Omahenene/Onavivi inland aquaculture centre (Onavivi IAC), the Ongwediva inland aquaculture centre (OIAC) and the Kamutjonga inland fisheries institute (KIFI).

Fingerling production and dissemination to fish farmers is conducted at the Hardap, Omahenene and Kamutjonga inland aquaculture centres.

The Omahenene inland aquaculture centre supplies the government-owned Epalela fish farm with fingerlings for production.

Esau said his ministry envisages the upgrading of the Kamutjonga inland fisheries’ institute and the Hardap inland aquaculture centres to fish production centres as well.

“Most of the funds allocated to these centres during the year under reporting went into their various activities (fingerling production, training, extensions, fish production and research).

“Funds will be needed to continue with aquaculture activities at all the centres mentioned above, as well as for the new hatchery in the Zambezi Region and the new Leonardville fish farm establishment in the Omaheke Region,” he noted.

In addition, the ministry will upgrade the Fonteintjie fish farm in the Karas Region, and renovate the Mpungu fish farm in the Kavango West Region in the 2014/2015 financial year.

The Leonardville fish farm in the Omaheke Region is near- completion, and an amount of N.dollars 9.8 million was spent on the construction of accommodation facilities, a dry shed and electrical works during the reporting period.

The total cost of this farm is estimated at N.dollars 24 million.

With respect to the Onakalunga fish farm in the Ohangwena Region, an amount of N.dollars 1.3 million was used for the construction of the first phase (erection of a fence), and N.dollars 5 million is required for the next phase of development in the 2014/2015 financial year.