After successful trials, gov’t to expand prawns & fish production nationwide
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, says the government intends to expand the support for aquaculture production countrywide after the trials for prawns and cage culture fishes proved successful in Regions Two, Five and Six.
After countless complaints by fisherfolk of low catches, the industry has bounced back following a massive increase in production.
The fresh prawns production ongoing at Regions Five and Six and has proved successful, the Agriculture Minister said. Meanwhile, the tilapia and tambaqui cage trials at Capoey and Lake Mainstay have also shown success.
“I think that in the fishing sector, the future is bright and we have to continue supporting the sector. The government has been investing heavily. Last year alone, the government expended close to about $500 million in the fishing industry, especially in the brackish water shrimp industry.
“They are looking now to start the production of fresh prawns. We have already started the construction of the ponds. We started the experiment with cage culture [for fish] and that will increase this year,” Mustapha said.
The minister said that this year the number of cages to carry out the production will be increased to 75 across the country.
He added that almost 75 landing sites are being improved with facilities. The production has increased from 10,000 kilogrammes to 80,000 kilogrammes, the minister said in January.
A total of $349.6 million was allocated in the 2023 budget to support the further improvement of the fishing industry. The government is supporting the brackish water shrimp project launched in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne). This is expected to satisfy a niche market that already has great demand. The brackish water shrimp production has increased from 10,000 kilogrammes to 90,000 kilogrammes.
Guyana’s seabob shrimp has also significantly increased since the government made massive investments in the industry.
Additionally, there is an increased focus on aquaculture, specifically on the production of more prawns and tilapia locally. For this project, 100 acres of land for the pond have already been identified and it is believed that enough of this fish and seafood can be produced to meet local demand.