15 Oct 2018 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 OCT (NAMPA) Founding President Sam Nujoma on Monday launched the Universal Aquaculture Association in a bid to address the challenges hindering development in the fishing sector, promote food security in the country and create employment among the youth.
Delivering his keynote address here, Nujoma heaped praises on the founders of the association, which he said can promote investment in fish farming activities and grow aquaculture into a significant contributor to the local economy.
According to Nujoma, aquaculture has enormous potential in Namibia due to the increase in demand for fish and its bi-products.
That creates an opportunity for fish farmers to close the gap in the market by producing and supplying fish and fish products to the growing fish market locally and outside our borders, he said, while acknowledging that the Namibian fishing sector comes from a difficult background, where uncontrolled overfishing was the order of the day prior to Namibias independence.
However, immediately after the attainment of independence, legislative instruments and law enforcement mechanisms were put in place, which proved effective in ensuring that fish and marine resources were sustainably managed and harvested, he added.
It has thus become very clear that Namibia needs to develop a growing and competitive aquaculture sector, if we are to continue being a significant supplier of fish and fish products to the world market, the former President noted.
Also speaking at the launch, founding member of the association, Hiskia Asino said its establishment provides an enabling platform that will allow information on programs, training and development opportunities to be disseminated.
Currently, issues hampering development in aquaculture is access to finance, affordable quality feeds and fast-growing commercial fish species being farmed all over the world, he noted.
Moreover, one of the associations chief priorities includes introducing the Nile tilapia fish species to allow aquaculture to become more viable and farmers to reap maximum profits and expand the industry.
They are also keen on working with the private sector to consolidate the necessary value chains required to ensure that farmers do not experience shortfalls in their production operations, he added.
Founded in February this year, the association has since registered 74 members.