The project has been developed by the Blue Karoo Trust which is aiming to supply farmed freshwater fish to South Africa in the next few years.
The CSAP aims to establish a mega cluster of aquaculture production units spread over more than 35 farm sites within a 50kms radius of the town as well as having the Central Farm in Graaff Reinet itself. The main site will have 13 production units of its own in addition to the outlying units. All of these will eventually supply the Central Processing Factory which will also be based in Graaff Reinet.
The aquaculture cluster as a whole is expected to eventually produce 1,144 tonnes of fish a month and provide 500 direct jobs and 1,700 indirect jobs as well as more than 1,000 other employment opportunities.
Most of the directly created jobs will be for women from the rural community who have no other access to employment.
The project also aims to be a source of sustainable produced cost effective protein. The pilot project has been running for about seven years during which time feasibility studies have been completed and the processes for the rearing and processing of catfish have been fully developed. The project has now entered the commercialisation phase.
The project also has a structured training programme to develop local community members into fish farmers and food processors at NQF Level 1. Currently there are over 100 trainees going through the programme.
Within the next 4 years the Central Farm site will have 13 aquaculture production units, a hatchery, a training tunnel and a processing plant and is set to make a significant difference to the lives of many local people as well as providing a much needed source of high quality protein.
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