With Guyana being labelled as one of the best and most promising countries for aquaculture development, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, is currently funding a training course on Aquaculture Technology for Guyana which seeks to further develop the sector.
The programme, which was organized by the Fujian Institute of Oceanography (FJIO) in China, commenced on September 15 and will see 30 participants comprising of farmers, the Ministry’s Fisheries and National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) staff, secondary school teachers and lecturers from the University of Guyana gaining aquaculture technological exposure, in addition to technical assistance and capacity building. FJIO specializes in conducting workshops and seminars in the field of marine science technology and economic management.
Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, while offering the feature address indicated that the training opportunity is much appreciated given the fact that it has been recognized that marine resources are dwindling and we must implement measures to ensure that these resources are not depleted.
“While we have begun to address this issue by utilizing monitoring mechanisms and harvest control rules among other measures, we realize that we must diversify and look at other sources of fish protein. One such measure is the development of a thriving Aquaculture sector to replace the shortfall anticipated in marine resources. The Government of Guyana has placed this as a priority area and we will be pushing this agenda.” Minister Holder said.
The Minister further added that there is a need for increased capacity building among government staff and farmers to ensure that they are provided with the wherewithal to push Aquaculture development in Guyana.
The course which concludes on September 28, is a result of the efforts of both the Chinese Government and Fujian Institute of Oceanography. Seven experts from China will be conducting several training sessions on aquaculture technology focusing on areas such as cultivation techniques for marine fishes, shrimps; overview of our freshwater fishes; artificial breeding and cultivation techniques for tilapia; water quality conditioning and disease prevention, mariculture development and prospects for Guyana.
With 45 years of diplomatic relations, Guyana and China continue to work together to ensure that areas for development are given major priority. China has been recognized as the runaway leader in the area of farming aquatic flora and fauna for human consumption, recording 58.8 million metric tonnes of aquatic flora and fauna produced annually. Guyana therefore stands to gain tremendously from such an exchange of knowledge and technology.
Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, H.E. Cui Jianchun, said since bilateral ties were established 45 years ago, Guyana has been a major ally for China and it is pleasing to be able to offer assistance to the country in this capacity.
“This training seeks to improve technological aquaculture in Guyana. Being experts in this field, we are here to share technology and see how this technology will work in this environment while making efforts to improve the industry. Upon completion of the training, Guyana stands to benefit by having a strengthened sector given that all the participants would have grasped as much as they could and pass it down to others in the industry.” H. E. Jianchun said.
This is the first training of this capacity to be held in Guyana, with several other courses of this nature being offered to other developing countries in the Caribbean and across the world.
Back in April, a delegation from the Fujian Institute of Oceanography (FJIO) visited Guyana to conduct feasibility research and carry out organizing and teaching work via China’s Foreign Aid Training Program. During their visit, the team visited several aquaculture farms located in Regions Five and Six. Discussions were subsequently held with technical persons on finalizing a training program on aquaculture technology in Guyana.
Vice President of the Academy for International Business Officials (AIBO), Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China, Mr. Liu Mingzhe, while offering brief remarks indicated that the Chinese Government was pleased to offer assistance to Guyana to boost the sector.
“This training has been something that my government has put a lot of effort and resources into. It is the first training of this nature to be held in Guyana and opens the door to have many other courses in agriculture, education, infrastructure and other developmental areas being offered to Guyanese. It, therefore, has placed a great expectation on the participants to replicate all that is taught for the benefit of the sector.” Mr. Mingzhe said.
Also offering remarks at the opening ceremony was Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of The Presidency, Department of Public Service. Mr. Reginald Brotherson said that cooperation for capacity building in the areas of agriculture and education displays Guyana and China’s shared vision of sustainable development.
“With the aquaculture industry recording significant growth in recent years, this training is a timely one as Guyana aims to equip its stakeholders with the technical know-how to thrive in this industry. This training is a direct result of the partnership agreement signed between Guyana and China. It enlists knowledge capacity in stakeholders transition into a green state. It is essential for us to be a dynamic growing economy.” Mr. Brotherson said.
Minister Holder urged the participants to consider this as an improvement in their capability to earn a living for, and in making a contribution to, the improvement in the nation’s health and food security.
“We recognize that for aquaculture development to take place, all must be given an equal opportunity to be equipped with the necessary know how. The Government is committed to the development of aquaculture and we would like to indicate to the People’s Republic of China that we welcome the Technical experts who will be executing the workshop and ensure that they receive the Guyanese hospitality for which we are well known. We would also welcome more capacity building and are open to discuss further training and other opportunities to contribute to our aquaculture development thrust.” Minister Holder said.