NAMIBIA – The government of Namibia is set to invest US$2.64 million (N$38 million) to promote marine and inland aquaculture in the country.

Bernhard Esau, minister of fisheries in the country said that the investment seeks to enhance sustainability in the sector and increase the contribution of the industry to food security.

“The purpose of this is to ensure the responsible development of aquaculture and the sustainable use of inland fisheries resources, increase income, enhance food security, reduce poverty through employment-creation, as well as improve rural livelihoods and increase investments,” Esau said.

The funds form part of US$17.39 million ministry’s budget the financial year 2019/20 allocated for research, fingerlings and fish production, training and extension services, reports Namibian.

“In the process, a total of 335,63 metric tonnes of freshwater and marine aquaculture products worth about N$145 million (US$10.08m) were produced in the country, while 800 000 fingerlings were stocked at small-scale fish farms in the Omusati, Oshana, Kavango West, Hardap and Omaheke regions,” he noted.

Esau highlighted that the hatcheries produce fingerlings for small-scale farmers across the country at the government demonstration fish farms located at Epalela, Mpungu, Leonardville and Keetmanshoop.

He also said the ministry would vigilantly assess the sustainable commercialisation of inland fisheries to safeguard the resource base for those dependent on these resources.

“Inland fisheries are essentially small-scale, subsistence or artisanal in nature, and a large number of our rural people engage in this activity,” he continued.

To strengthen inland fisheries management, Esau said the ministry held consultations with local authorities, regional councils and community conservancies in different regions across the country to discuss fisheries’ protected areas and closed seasons.

Hangana Seafood to set up US$20.86m processing facility

The fishing industry in the country has also received a major boost following a US$20.86 million (N$300m) investment by Hangana Seafood’s, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group, in establishing a fish processing plant.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of the plant in April this year, Hangana Seafood managing director, Herman Theron said that the new factory will enable the company toincrease its operations and deliver products in demand.

“The new facility will have a capacity of 25 000 metric tonnes throughput a year, as well as the cold storage capacity of 2 500 metric tonnes which will be utilised for internal use and also to provide a service to other players in the industry in need of storage space/capacity,” he said.