Aquaculture for all

Tilapia, Pacu, Hassar set to gain US market foothold

GUYANA - public-private sector partnership in the aquaculture sector is well underway to making its mark in the country's agricultural economy and Tilapia, Pacu and Hassar are the fish receiving the push.

In addition, the partnership to date has produced three working aquaculture farms and attracted one US investor looking to expand its organic aquaculture operations.

"Within two years this collective group of aquaculture farmers is expected to be exporting US$15M in aquaculture products (mainly Tilapia) into the US market," United States Agency for International Development/Guyana Trade and Investment Support (USAID/GTIS), said Public Affairs Officer Kirk Smock.

The statement said that there were many opportunities to build upon these farms, which will achieve higher exports, involve more farmers and help the National Aquaculture Association of Guyana (NAAG) realize its goal for the future to make aquaculture Guyana's leading economic sector by 2015.

The agencies behind the drive with NAAG to make the three recognized as Guyanese newest crops are the Agriculture Ministry and the GTIS.

Mr Smock said that aquaculture is on fast track to diversifying the future of Guyana's agricultural economy.

He said that with guidance and assistance provided by USAID/GTIS, NAAG has been focusing on a market-led strategy, and noted that pre 1990's efforts to introduce aquaculture in Guyana often failed because there was no market identified for the products being raised.

"A demand for tilapia in the export market - especially in the US has been identified and NAAG has now set their sights on filling that need," Smock stated.

Aquaculture had a long history in Guyana, and in its present form was the most exciting and promising.

The situation, and the country's natural resources were ideal for aquaculture. Consequently it was attracting local and foreign investment for development in Guyana.

Source: stabroek news
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