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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday invited national and foreign businesses to invest in industrial and commercial aquaculture, taking advantage of the great potential Mozambique possesses for fish farming.
Speaking at the opening of the Aquaculture Forum, in the tourist resort of Bilene, in the southern province of Gaza, Nyusi stressed that Mozambique has a coastline that is 2,700 kilometres long, and vast areas of inland waters, which present an enormous potential for aquaculture.
The President said that Mozambicans often believe that mega-projects are the solution to the country’s problems, but aquaculture has proved to be an activity that can produce food and reduce imports, thus contributing to economic liberation.
“We have to pay greater attention to aquaculture”, said Nyusi, “and develop it in a complete value chain, from the production of fingerlings, through to conservation and processing facilities, and marketing”.
Rural communities, he added, have been producing food and generating income for their household needs by combining farming and aquaculture, and through this forum it was intended to gather experiences on how this activity can contribute to increasing exports and improving the balance of payments,
Just as with farming, so with aquaculture: for Nyusi the main challenges were to shift from subsistence to commercial production, to extend the research centres, and to facilitate bank credit for the producers.
“In 2016 total aquaculture production in Mozambique was around 1,000 tonnes”, said Nyusi. “With the possibilities that we have, there is no reason why production should be so small, since we enjoy the conditions to practice this activity throughout the national territory”.
The provinces of Inhambane, Manica and Niassa produced 814 tonnes of farmed fish in 2016, while Maputo, Sofala and Cabo Delgado provinces between them produced only 95 tonnes.
Data from the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) presented at the Forum show that Mozambique has about 250,000 hectares suitable for aquaculture. Yet currently only one per cent of this is made use of.
Gaza province has potential through its many rivers and lakes, and the reservoir behind the Massingir dam. The great challenge is the production of fingerlings and fish food, but with support from Thailand these are now being produced.
With contributions from Norway and Iceland, an aquaculture research centre has been built in the Gaza town of Chokwe, at a cost of six million US dollars. It is hoped that this centre will help drive mass production of farmed fish, to improve citizens’ diet.
Nyusi pledged that the government will do all in its power to create an encouraging business environment so that investors may develop their activities smoothly in this area.Source: AIM / TVM