08 May 2019 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau said the ministry will spend N.dollars 37 745 490 on promoting marine and inland aquaculture in the financial year 2019/2020.
Esau revealed this information in the National Assembly on Monday while motivating the ministrys budget of N.dollars 250 million for the financial year 2019/2020.
The purpose of this is to ensure responsible development of aquaculture and sustainable use of inland fisheries resources, increase income, enhance food security, reduce poverty through employment creation, and improve rural livelihood and increase investments, he said.
He noted that there are five hatcheries that produce fingerlings for small-scale farmers across the country at the government demonstration fish farms located in Epalela, Mpungu, Leonardville and Keetmanshoop.
Esau further said the funds allocated to this programme during the preceding financial year were used for research, fingerlings and fish production, training and extension services.
In the process, a total of 335.63 metric tonnes of freshwater and marine aquaculture products worth about N.dollars 145 million was produced in the country, while 800 000 fingerlings were stocked at small-scale fish farms in the Omusati, Oshana, Kavango West, Hardap and Omaheke regions, he said.
Esau said the ministry will vigilantly assess the sustainable commercialisation of inland fisheries in order to safeguard the resource base for those dependent on these resources.
Inland fisheries are essentially small-scale, subsistence or artisanal in nature and a large number of our rural people engages in this activity, Esau said.
To strengthen inland fisheries management, Esau said the ministry held consultations with traditional authorities, regional councils and community conservancies along the Zambezi and Kavango rivers to discuss fisheries protected areas and closed seasons.
The ministry is keen to empower riparian communities to manage their own fisheries on a sustainable basis, he said.