BUDGET 2022: Gov’t eyes more fish production with $743.7M allocation

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A total of $743.7 million has been allocated to the fisheries subsector as part of the government’s intention to expand fishing activities and ease the woes of local fisherfolk.

This was announced by the Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh during his presentation of the 2022 National Budget at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

The Finance Minister acknowledged that this fishing industry has been going through “challenging times” but noted that efforts are being made to address those woes.

Already, a brackish-water shrimp production initiative has been rolled out on the Corentyne coast of Region Six, and higher production of this shrimp was seen in 2021 when compared to 2020.

But during his 2022 Budget presentation, the Finance Minister said that further investments will be made to boost fish production. As such, $230 million is budgeted for the second-phase of this brackish-water shrimp production initiative.

This allocation is expected to raise aquaculture production by over 300 per cent.

Importantly, the Finance Minister highlighted that $200 million will be provided to introduce and develop marine cage fishing. This is expected to enhance the production of prawns and tilapia on the coast

These cages are man-made structures placed in waterways and utilised the same body of water and President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced earlier this year that these cages would be implemented both in the coastal and hinterland regions.

The President contended that the government is pursuing the introduction of these cages as part of efforts to remedy the low-catches faced by fishermen.

Similarly, Dr. Singh said, “(These marine cages) will provide an important alternative production modality for Guyana’s fisherfolk.”

The Finance Minister said that the government will also support the development of climate-resilient infrastructure and research to understand how the fishing industry can be further improved.

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