A one-day seminar and exhibition on freshwater aquaculture development in Indonesia and Namibia took place at the Indonesian ambassadorial residence on 31 October 2011. The Embassy of Indonesia and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources organised the event.
Speaking at the seminar, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Indonesia, Zainul Yunus, noted that the objective of the event is to share knowledge as well as best practices on freshwater aquaculture development between the two countries.
He explained that the aim of the event is to identify areas of co-operation in freshwater aquaculture development between the two countries and to show how Indonesia processes raw fish and adds value to its food products.
“Aquaculture is an important component of Indonesian fisheries, which contributes to national food security, income and employment creation, as well as foreign exchange earnings. Another positive impact is that it reduces pressure on the exploitation of marine resources,” he noted.
According to Yunus, aquaculture development in Indonesia has grown, and it is now considered to be important in supporting rural economic development.
He said freshwater fish is one of Indonesia’s favourite foods, because it is less expensive than meat and is also very nutritious.
“Indonesia is also the fourth-largest fish producer in the world with around one fifth of the production coming from aquaculture,” he added.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau said through long hard years of development, Indonesia has acquired valuable expertise in successfully applying aquaculture techniques.
He noted that production from freshwater activities in Namibia would be used primarily to ensure food security for local communities.
According to Esau, this does not exclude private sector participation in freshwater aquaculture development programmes in the country.
He explained that through Namibia’s regulatory framework, the intention is to build a co-ordinated approach to aquaculture development and regulation.
Government has put in place the Namibia’s Aquaculture Policy (2001), Aquaculture Act (2002), Aquaculture Licensing Regulations (2003), and Namibia’s Aquaculture Strategic Plan of 2004.
“The further expansion of aquaculture throughout all regions of Namibia is envisaged over the next few years with the establishment of additional large and mini hatcheries and the deployment of dedicated teams of extension officers and researchers,” he stressed.
The Fisheries Ministry has currently developed large-scale aquaculture projects in the Kavango, Caprivi, Omusati and Hardap regions, and it has also developed small-scale community-based fish farming projects in the Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, and Oshana regions.
The freshwater species that Namibia is currently rearing are Tilapia and Catfish. Various freshwater fish food products from Indonesia were on display at the event, and these included Milkfish, Gourami, and Patin.
Source : NAMPA - Windhoek