The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources yesterday launched the National Aqua Culture Master Plan which aims to raise freshwater aquaculture output to 4 000 tonnes a year by 2023.
The ministry is also striving to increase marine aquaculture production from 525 to 5 500 tonnes by 2023 and to ensure aquaculture provides food, income and employment for rural and urban communities.
“The National Aquaculture Master Plan for Marine Aquaculture was commissioned with the purpose to identify key areas and to provide a road map for sustainable development of marine aquaculture, generating socio-economic benefits to the people of Namibia,” said Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau.
The launch of the master plan is in line with the governments strategy of fighting poverty in the country and forms part of President Hage Geingob’s campaign to alleviate and eradicate poverty.
The all-out war on poverty campaign was launched two weeks ago. Since then the prime minister, as well as the president, have been in the regions interacting with the regional leadership to engage the public through a national dialogue on how best to tackle poverty.
At the launch, the Minister Esau set out the key actions required to boost the development of the fishing sector and reinforce the marine aqua-culture subsector as an incentive to large scale commercial industries, producing high-value species for export.
Esau said the master plan forms a vital link in Namibia’s strategy to secure national and household food supply, reduce poverty and create employment, especially for the vulnerable and poorer communities as it encourages product diversification and economic growth.
“To this end, the Master Plan for Freshwater Aquaculture has put in place measures to kick-start and accelerate nation-wide freshwater aquaculture development, to ensure equitable access to natural, human and economic resources and opportunities, as well as create the platform for social justice for women, men and the youth,” Esau said.
The minister further said the rationale for developing a profitable marine aquaculture sub-sector in Namibia remains sound, given its potential contribution to GDP growth and employment opportunities, hence promoting the overall wellbeing of the country’s citizens. Esau said the master plan blue print for the future essentially provides a roadmap to create a business and social environment, which is attractive to a wide range of investors.
The information and concepts presented in the document are intended to guide strategic planning and inform public policies on aquaculture development.