Speaking at the inauguration, Iyambo said: “When we realized that there is a need to strengthen our aquaculture projects, I started travelling extensively to various countries and continents in the world – sourcing the best ideas of aquaculture to be implemented here in Namibia. I travelled to countries such as Cuba, Spain, Japan, Portugal, China, Chile and many others for the same purpose.”
He said the Ministry of Fisheries brought two specialists from Cuba specifically to strengthen aquaculture projects in Namibia.
“We even brought a professor from China for the same purpose. This project or factory was made possible by the Government and not by the private sector since the private sector failed to do so.
“Initially we sold the idea to them (private sector) and it seems like they were not sure if this is viable and now we managed, here it stands. That is why we set it up here at Onavivi in the Omusati Region,” Iyambo said.
The main reason is that the ministry used to buy tonnes of fish feed from South Africa or Zambia, who usually take the fish feed from Walvis Bay to their countries and add a few ingredients before selling it back to Namibia for a hefty price per tonne.
“Now we are producing even quality fish feed here at Onavivi after adding mahangu, beans, maize and a bit of oil to make it the best meal for fish. Thus will be called fishmeal made in Namibia by Namibians,” Iyambo boasted to a cheerful gathering.
He said they took mahangu (pearl millet) to Spain for a scientific test and it was proven that it is one of the best ingredients for fish feed.
Now the fish feed plant has been established, quality of the feed needs to be ensured. “What we want in future is a laboratory to ensure we are producing quality fish meal,” said the minister.
He said at the moment, Namibia is exporting about 100 000 metric tonnes of fishmeal to other countries.
The construction of the Onavivi Inland Aquaculture Centre was realized through technical and financial assistance of the regional government of Galicia in the Kingdom of Spain.
The fish feed plant has been constructed at a cost of N$5 million (app. € 397,000). The equipment and machinery installed is valued at N$3 million (€239,000) while the building is valued at N$1.15 million (€91,000).
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, Alfonso Barnuevo said the construction of the fish feed plant, constitutes a major landmark in bilateral ties between Namibia and the Kingdom of Spain.