Three Cuban aquaculture experts, who were provided to Namibia by that country’s Ministry of Food and Industry, assisted in attaining a record fish production of 60 tons at Epalela fish farm during 2014.
“This is the highest production ever attained at the fish farm since its establishment, which is a commendable job,” said Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau.
He revealed this record production during official talks with Cuba’s Minister of Food and Industry, María del Carmen Concepción, in the capital last week Thursday.
Esau added that last year the three aquaculture experts, whose contracts in Namibia have been extended by three years, were relocated to Mpungu fish farm in the Kavango West Region to provide technical expertise and improve fish production there.
“Mpungu has a production capacity of 20 tons of fish and during their stay they managed to stock all the production ponds with a total of 78 000 fingerlings and the harvest is expected to be done in March,” said Esau.
Meanwhile, another Cuban expert who arrived in Namibia last year February, is currently based at Epalela fish farm where he is continuing with the improvement of fish production.
Esau said that another Cuban expert, a mechanical engineer who was based at the Onavivi Inland Aquaculture Centre, transferred knowledge and skills to the Onavivi Aquaculture staff members.
These staff members are now able to operate the fish feed machine and during the expert’s stay from 2013 to 2015 he supervised the production of 386 tons of fish feed.
Namibia and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding in 2013 when Esau visited the Caribbean island, focussing on aquaculture, training, exploitation of marine resources and enterprises cooperation.
“During my visit to Cuba in September 2013, we shared information on the corresponding fish sectors, explained the outcomes that have been attained and discussed future projects for cooperation in the areas of fisheries and aquaculture,” said Esau.
“The bilateral cooperation agreement between Namibia and Cuba came a long way and through such cooperation the development of aquaculture has benefited through Cuban experts’ technical assistance, which is highly appreciated,” said Esau.