By Kellon Rover
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – The ongoing brackish water shrimp production along the Corentyne Coast has earned some $153 million, after the production of some 127,400 kilogrammes of shrimp between January and March 2022.
The total shows 81,740 kilogrammes more when compared to the 45,660 kilogrammes of shrimp produced during the same period in 2021, at an estimated value of $40 million.
The project has already contributed significantly to the livelihood of several shrimp farmers in East Berbice Corentyne, which was the chief intention of the government when the initiative was introduced in 2021.
Already, farmers are benefitting from increased earnings, while more than 20 persons have gained employment on the farms.
The administration’s overall aim is to provide adequate support to persons within the fisheries industry, who are impacted by the worldwide issue of low fish catches.
Agriculture minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, told DPI that the project has been progressing smoothly. While the objective is to increase production from 250,000 to 500,000 kilogrammes annually, minister Mustapha strongly believes that production will exceed the 500,000 mark.
Already, persons have signalled their interest in these types of seafood, and Guyana now has the opportunity to advance its exports to countries in the region and North America.
This means, that more farms will have to be established to meet the swiftly approaching high demands.
Phase one implementation of the project has seen the rehabilitation of 23 farms, comprising 71 ponds, from the Berbice River Bridge to Maida.
This intervention valuing more than $50 million, resulted in a 175 percent increase in shrimp production in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Phase two of the project is being implemented this year, with the government committing an additional $230 million to rehabilitate an additional 63 farms, comprising 109 ponds.
This is expected to increase shrimp production with an estimated value of over $300 million per annum.