Hardap Inland Aquaculture upgrade gets rolling
A ground breaking and official start of the upgrading of the Hardarp Inland Aquaculture centre which is to be overseen by Chinese firm, Synohydro Tiajin took place late last month. Upon completion the centre is expected to produce around 37 tons of marketable fish and half a million fingerlings per annum. The project got off the ground after the Namibian and Chinese governments signed an Economic and Technical Agreement through the National Planning Commission in which China agreed to provide Namibia with a grant of RMB Yuan 50 Million (N$65 million). Of the N$65 million, N$15 Million of this grant was allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Speaking at the ground breaking event Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resource, Bernard Esau said,“This wonderful occasion is the result of 5 years of patience and persistence. While it has taken that long to reach this stage, we are happy to see that work is about to start.” “It also underlines the importance that the government attaches to supporting the development of Aquaculture in our country. Government was and is still convinced that Aquaculture has a potential to make a difference in the lives of our people, especially the poor,” he added. Upgrading at the Hardap facility will include the construction of a new inter-graded processing workshop and a new cold storage building, renovation of open marketable fish ponds, construction of two marketable fish cultivation green houses and the construction of big sized fingerling cultivation green houses. The renovation is expected to take just over a year. Following this upgrading, the centre is expected to produce around 37 tons of marketable fish and half a million fingerlings per annum. “As some of you might be aware, this Centre’s main activity is the production of fingerlings for distribution to farmers. However, after the upgrading, it will be involved in the production of fish for consumers, not only for the Southern Regions, but to other Regions as well,” said Esau. “The Centre will also be involved in Research (river, lakes, dams), Extension services, Training and data recording and handling. Added Esau, “we therefore believe strongly that after the completion of this phase of the project, the Hardap IAC will have the potential to be a centre of excellence.”