Namibia and Cuba working on aquaculture action plan

09 Feb 2016 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 09 FEB (NAMPA)- Cuba’s Food and Industry Minister, Maria del Carmen Concepcion Gonzalez and her delegation on Monday met with Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau to discuss cooperation in the fisheries sector.
Concepcion was on a four-day official visit to Namibia.
During the meeting, the two parties recommitted themselves to fulfilling an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in the fisheries sector, entered into between the two countries in 2013.
The agreement was signed during Esau's official visit to the Caribbean nation that year.
Local media during 2015 reported Esau saying Namibia’s aquaculture sector was not performing well and remains of concern having produced a mere 740 metric tonnes in 2014, despite Government’s commitment and financial support to the industry.
The parties on Monday agreed that in 30 days, they would analyse proposed documents by the Cuban delegation and develop an action plan to fulfil the MoU.
According to Esau, the MoU identified areas of cooperation in areas such as aquaculture, training, exchange of experts, the exploitation of marine resources in Namibia and enterprises’ cooperation.
“Cuban experts are still here helping in building our capacity in terms of fish products as well as fresh water fish products, so this cooperation will be strengthened by having an action plan” Esau said.
The minister said the action plan was proposed by the visiting Cuban delegation and that both parties will be working on it within agreed upon timelines.
Concepcion, who was speaking through an interpreter, said they are excited about the prospects of the agreement and are equally committed to making it work.
“We are looking forward to close and to further strengthen the cooperation in terms of technical assistance, formation of capacity development of aquaculture and exchange our ideas about our participation once we finish that 30 day deadline.
“From 2013 to the present, we have various Cuban experts working in Namibia within the aquaculture sector. They have been working in different regions of Namibia and they have been contributing to the first steps of the development of aquaculture,” Concepcion explained.
Concepcion; Cuba’s Ambassador to Namibia, Giraldo Mazola; and their delegation also visited the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), Namibia Breweries Limited, Tunacor Fishing Limited and the Namibian Port Authority (NamPort). They also paid a courtesy call to the office of the Vice President, Nickey Iyambo on Monday.