Swapo MP sounds alarm on multiple challenges facing aquaculture industry

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

A recent report presented by Swapo’s Member of Parliament in the National Council, Hilaria Mukapuli, on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources shed light on critical issues faced by aquaculture projects in various regions of Namibia.

According to Mukapuli, the oversight visits conducted between seven and 15 May 2023, revealed challenges that, if not addressed, could significantly enhance the nation’s fish farming capabilities.

She said one major hurdle identified is the seasonal nature of fish production due to the lack of greenhouse roofing.

The absence of this essential infrastructure restricts farms from operating at full capacity throughout the year Mukapuli revealed.

She said the report highlighted the vulnerability of Greenhouse plastic roofing to strong winds, particularly in the southern regions.

“Greenhouse plastic roofing is not durable enough to withstand strong winds (especially in the South) as a result they are constantly being blown off and breaking up,” she said.

Furthermore, she said a shortage of feed emerged as a common issue across all visited farms, primarily attributed to the Onavivi fish feed plant’s inability to produce sufficient feed.

Operational challenges, breakdowns, and difficulties in securing suitable technicians further exacerbate the problem as stated by Mukapuli.

Moreover, she said imported feed from Zambia, marked by poor quality, negatively impacts overall production capacity.

“Poor quality feed sourced from Zambia has an impact on production, she said.

Additionally, constraints in repairing broken equipment and maintaining ponds hinder farms from reaching their full production potential.

In response to these challenges, the Committee has formulated recommendations aimed at significantly improving the aquaculture landscape in Namibia.

The MP further stated that with the global aquaculture market projected to reach USD 421.2 billion by 2030, the potential for Namibia to contribute to this growth is substantial.

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