Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau says China’s continued support to Namibia’s development agenda is a sign of true friendship between the two countries. He applauded the Chinese government for extending a helping hand in terms of financial support and expertise, which he said made it possible to upgrade the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre (HIAC).
Making the remarks as he inaugurated the centre last Friday, Esau said the upgrading of the centre is part of “a revolution”, adding that the revolution will not stop and will continue to provide economic growth and bring prosperity.
The upgrade to the facility was financed by China, which gave Namibia a grant of about N$65 million, of which N$35 million was allocated to the upgrading of the inland aquaculture centre.
He stated the upgrade was made possible with the help of Chinese people and thanked the Chinese government for the generous donation, saying without the donation the upgrade of the centre would not have been possible at all. “China is a true friend of Namibia, a fact that is once again attested by this wonderful facility,” he said.
Esau noted that the upgrade means the centre will now not only focus on the production of fingerlings for distribution to aquaculture farmers, but also produce fish for consumers in the southern regions and across the country. He said the centre is also involved in research, extension services and training, which he said are vital for aquaculture development nationally.
He said the new production ponds have the capacity to produce a maximum of 90 metric tonnes of fish valued at N$2.7 million annually, while the refurbished hatchery will be able to produce a minimum of 31 000 fingerlings per month, which will be used to fill up centre ponds and will be sold to local fish-farmers.
Esau urged residents of Hardap to incorporate fish in their diets, saying it’s healthy food that should be part of everyone’s diet.
Speaking at the same event, Charge d’ Affaires at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Namibia Wu Wei said China has done its best to support and assist Namibia in its economic and social development and will continue to do so. He said in future China would do more to support Namibia and its people to realise the goals and perspectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“China will be your staunch supporter and reliable development partner forever,” he said.
The upgrade to the facilities at the centre include the construction of a new integrated processing workshop and new cold storage building, the renovation of the open market-size fishponds, the construction of two marketable-size fish production ponds and the construction of larger fingerling production ponds.