May 05, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – In keeping with its objective to transform Guyana’s fisheries sector, the Ministry of Agriculture has set aside $39,912,372 for crucial upgrades to the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station located in Mon Repos.. The contract for the said works was recently signed between the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Doodnauth Construction and Supplies.
During the contract signing, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha stressed the importance of having the works completed in a timely manner. He further stated, “The expansion of the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station will double the present capacity of the facility and improve its ability to deliver on a wider selection of species for research and make available to farmers for grow-out. Species that will be targeted are Lukanani, Patwa, Tambaqui, Kreteke/snail, Hassar, and Arapaima. Upgrades to the facility will include the construction of seven 46’ x 23’ concrete ponds, the construction of 540 feet of earthen road, as well as the erection of a 1690 feet fence.”
Minister Mustapha asserted too that the upgrades were in keeping with government’s plan to develop the country’s aquaculture sector. In this regard, Mustapha said, “Since taking office last August, government has been pushing and promoting the development of the local aquaculture sector. After closely examining the layout and land available at the aquaculture station, a decision was taken for several upgrades to be made to develop the facility and, by extension, the sector. If we are going to promote and develop aquaculture in Guyana, fisher folks need to have access to a certain amount of fingerlings at any given period. This is why we needed to ensure we utilise the available space, construct additional ponds, and execute an overall upgrade.”
Apart from contracted works, Minister Mustapha disclosed that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will also be assisting the Fisheries Department with clearing 7.5 acres of land for the expansion and the construction of 23 earthen ponds of various sizes. These works are expected to be completed by the first week in September of this year.
Over the last eight months, government has taken several steps to reorganise and rejuvenate the sector. Back in March of this year, Guyana National Fisherfolk Organisation (GNFO) hosted their second national election after lying dormant for some time.
Furthermore, President Dr. Irfaan Ali had announced that government will soon launch an aquaculture ‘master plan’ that will see the sector taking off. The Head of State alluded to the fact that, as a result of climate change and the changing landscape of the global fisheries industry, government was encouraged to think outside the box and move to transition to an aquaculture-based operation.
The Agriculture Ministry has commenced sensitisation and consultation exercises with the local fisher-folk to reorganise the players and ensure the sector is developed in a sustainable way.
It should be noted that Guyana’s aquaculture sector is being targeted for massive development in both the long term and short term. This year, $293 million was allocated for the development of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector.
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