The aquaculture sector will be stimulated by investment following a recent launch in the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP) by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies reports Bernama.
Davies says the programme will develop the sector as it offers a significant grant, with a maximum of 40 million Rand (one USD = about 9.25 Rand), for new and expansion projects.
"South Africa is currently at the bottom of the development curve and still in its infancy stage when it comes to the aquaculture sector. South Africa only contributes about one per cent of Africa's aquaculture production. This launch can be used as an opportunity to grow the sector in the next few years to remain competitive globally," he said.
Aquaculture, also known as aqua-farming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants and involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions in contrasted to commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish.
The minister also said the programme had enormous benefits which could contribute meaningfully to job creation, food security, foreign currency and skills development. "The East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has over the years played a significant role in the aquaculture sector. Given enough resources and investments, we can multiply the work in other parts of the country," said Davies.
The Acting Director-General at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Sipho Ntombela, said aquaculture was one of the key government priorities that also formed part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path. "DAFF and the Department of Trade and Industry have finalised and tabled the
National Aquaculture Strategic Framework that will look at increasing our market share globally, promote the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), encourage research and development, and strengthen our small scale in the sector," said Ntombela.
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