NAMIBIA – Construction has commenced on the nation’s inaugural Atlantic salmon farm, the Benguela Blue Aqua Farming project, positioning the country at the forefront of African salmon production. 

During a ceremony held in Lüderitz, Vice President Netumbu Nandi-Ndaitwa hailed the farming project as a transformative endeavor poised to drive economic growth in the region.

“For the first time in our history, Namibia will become a producer of premium Atlantic salmon, and with the emergence of new industries in Luderitz, this town is poised to become a major economic hub,” expressed Nandi-Ndaitwa.

Encouraging local fish consumption, Nandi-Ndaitwa underscored the health benefits of seafood, advocating for both domestic consumption and exportation.

This highly nutritious seafood offers significant health benefits. Hence, our focus should be on exporting and consuming locally produced fish,” remarked Nandi-Ndaitwa.

Nandi-Ndaitwa also emphasized that the project seamlessly aligns with Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan, and various national development strategies.

The project is expected to generate employment opportunities and facilitate exports to key markets in Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia. 

According to projections, the project will create approximately 600 jobs, further boosting the local economy.

Nangula Uaandja, Chief Executive of the Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board, highlighted the project’s success, noting that it took three years to come to fruition—a testament to the nation’s investment landscape.

The project, authorized to cultivate up to 35,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon annually in submersible net pens, aims to commence operations in the second quarter of 2024, with an initial harvest estimated at around 100 tonnes.

This news comes as Namibia’s fish industry is experiencing a gradual turnaround. Projections suggest that the nation’s fish production will reach close to 500 metric tons by 2026, marking a marginal 0.1% decline from the 493 metric tons reported in 2021.

Namibia ranked 96th in fish consumption, with Moldova surpassing its consumption with 16.8 thousand metric tons.

Meanwhile, countries like Japan, the Philippines, and the United States secured the top spots in fish consumption, ranking 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively.

On the consumption front, Namibia is anticipated to consume approximately 18 thousand metric tons of fish by 2026, reflecting a modest 0.7% increase from the 16.8 thousand metric tons consumed in 2021.

Despite this anticipated rise, there has been a slight decline in fish demand since 2017, with a decrease of 0.4%.

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