as gov’t moves ahead with expanding brackish water shrimp production
Guyana’s aquaculture industry will, in the coming years, see a major boost as the government works towards transforming this very critical part of the agriculture sector.
These transformative efforts have already begun as the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, recently embarked on a project aimed at doubling the production of brackish water shrimp from 250,000 kilograms to 500,000 kilograms by 2025.
The Fisheries Department, with assistance from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), has commenced the construction of 74 ponds for the rearing of brackish water shrimp.
While giving an update on the project, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed that approximately 85% of the ponds identified for phase one of the project have been completed.
“To date, we’ve been able to complete construction of 63 ponds as part of phase one. The other 11 ponds are about 85% complete. For phase one we are constructing 74. Persons have since engaged us and we are looking at assisting them with ponds to increase their production as part of the second phase of the project. We are doing the earthworks and installation of tubes to assist with providing sufficient water supply to the ponds. Currently, there are three machines working at different locations to complete these works as soon as possible,” the minister said.
Earlier in the year, while discussing Guyana’s aquaculture potential, Minister Mustapha highlighted that Guyana has all the resources necessary to develop a thriving aquaculture sector.
“Aquaculture in Guyana shows strong potential since the country has relatively large acres of flat lands with suitable soil types and access to large quantities and good quality freshwater (water conservancies)… more so, there are existing drainage and irrigation infrastructure in some areas, sub-tropical temperatures for shrimp and fish production and good availability of agricultural, more specifically fisheries by-products for the formulation and manufacturing of aquafeed,” Minister Mustapha said.
The government, through its updated inland and aquaculture strategy, 2021-2026, has outlined its plans to address the challenges plaguing the aquaculture industry while creating an enabling and sustainable environment for investments.
Plans to develop a project for aquaculture zoning both on land and in water also form part of the government’s vision for the sector. The zoning of lands for aquaculture would allow investors to easily identify and access land.