Strategic plan developed for brackish-water shrimp production
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Fisheries officer Denis David, engages Region Six shrimp farmers (Carl Croker photos)
Fisheries officer Denis David, engages Region Six shrimp farmers (Carl Croker photos)

WITH the growing demand for farm-raised shrimp across the world, the Agriculture Ministry and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) presented a proposed strategy to enhance the production of brackish-water shrimp to several stakeholders in Region Six.

At a workshop held at the St Francis Community Centre, Port Mourant, Berbice, last Thursday, Denis David, a fisheries officer attached to the ministry told shrimp farmers that the proposed strategy will see the establishment of several action plans geared towards the enhanced production and quality of brackish-water shrimp in Guyana.

“So, today’s [last Thursday] event was the presenting of the draft upgrading strategy for the brackish-water shrimp industry. And this is basically where we would have [sic] invited a number of stakeholders and value-chain actors, because the exercise is about the value chain, the brackish-water value chain and so what we did was have the input of the different actors,” he said.

In an effort to boost productivity, the FAO has partnered with the Government of Guyana over the last two years to conduct a study and gather information for the piloting and implementation of a strategy to enhance shrimp production in Guyana and several other Caribbean states.

David said stakeholders are critical players in establishing and implementing the strategies that have been developed, hence, they have been participants in every aspect of developing the proposed strategy.

“We had them in groups, so that we can have a little bit more feedback on a one-to-one basis from the different actors and from the feedback that they had given to us, we’re positive that the strategy is one that they accept.”

FAO programme assistant, Jefferson Jaikisson, gives an overview of the enhancement strategy to the shrimp farmers

The strategy is divided into four parts to focus on the promotion of an intensive model of farming, the expansion of the industry through multi-species diversification, the fostering of partnerships to strengthen trade and marketing, and the strengthening of a support and enabling environment for the best value chain.

David noted that now that the fisherfolk and other stakeholders have been engaged, the next step is to develop a business plan and work towards the piloting of the enhancement strategy.

“The next step is to develop a business plan, followed by the pilot project, and the pilot project is where most of the activity is going to be happening and that is where the farmers themselves can get involved. So, that’s basically the future plans,” he said.

The enhancement strategy is anticipated to be piloted by March 2023.

Meanwhile, in expressing his excitement for the interest shown in the industry, Balwant Singh, a shrimp farmer who recently started production, told this newspaper that he was pleased to see the interest shown in the industry and is excited for what the future has in store.

“This is a relief for me because we are going to get some good things in the future and I’m just an initial starter in this sector,” Singh said, adding: “I haven’t reaped anything as yet but what is going on here with this [workshop] I feel like this industry is going to be successful.”

Another shrimp farmer, Juliet Bedesi, expressed similar sentiments stating that she has been able to take away some valuable information from the workshop and is also excited for the plans billed for the industry.

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