The brackish water shrimp production along the Corentyne Coast, Region Six, is progressing smoothly and will soon see production exceeding the 500,000 kilograms projected annually.
There are 66 ponds already completed in phase one of the project, while efforts to establish an additional 13 ponds have advanced to meet the 79 mark.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, told DPI that the objective of the project is to increase production from 250,000 kilograms to 500,000 kilograms annually.
He said the 66 ponds currently produce 35,000 kilograms per month and when the amount is multiplied yearly, it will show some 420,000 kilograms annually.
“This shows the tremendous potential the industry has…we have seen remarkable progress so far; production has increased tremendously. In some of the ponds we have seen a 100 per cent increase in production.”
The agriculture minister pointed out that persons have signalled their interest in these types of sea food and Guyana now has the opportunity to advance its exports to countries in the region and North America.
“The Guyanese diaspora really need these shrimp products because whenever they come to Guyana, they normally take the shrimp back to North America. I am hoping that through the new GMC and through the fisheries department, we can have these shrimp processed and sent to these places,” he underscored.
“As a matter of fact, in the ministerial task force, that was set up by the Caricom heads of government, we are working now very aggressively from Guyana’s perspective to remove barriers that are affecting our produce in entering the Caribbean market,” he further explained.
Additionally, the minister said government is moving towards establishing similar shrimp production ventures in other parts of the country.
“…and we will replicate this not only in Region Six, but across the country. We are seeing more people in the rural areas now have been engaged in terms of employment, we have seen that the farmers are making more money with these civil and capital works that we have done for the ponds,” he added.
The second phase of the project is expected to commence this year, with 83 additional ponds to be established. Some $230 million has been committed to rehabilitate an additional 63 shrimp farms in this phase.
Meanwhile, Region Six’s Fisheries Officer, Rabani Gajnabi said there are currently 88 farmers already benefitting from the project, while more have shown their interests and were added to the list.