DTI getting involved in aquaculture

Engineeringnews.co.za reported that the minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, along with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), recently approved the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP).

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The programme, which was planned to assist new entrants in the sector and existing aquaculture ventures, hoped to increase investments in the sector, enhancing competitiveness and increasing employment opportunities. The ADEP also targeted rural development, food security and increasing production, while spreading the sector’s geographical footprint, taking into consideration rural areas and contributing to broad-based black economic empowerment.

“ADEP is an intervention towards mitigating the financial challenges identified in the aquaculture sector and a response to a need identified in the National Aquaculture Strategic Framework, developed by DAFF,” Davies said in a statement. Despite the global aquaculture sector recording a rapid food production growth rate of 8% to 10% a year over the past two decades, South Africa only reported a growth rate of 3% in 2010.

Davies attributed the slow growth to a lack of integrated plans and government involvement in driving development of the sector. He believed that the promotion of investment in production and support infrastructure, as well as the establishment of farmer support and management programmes would lead to substantially increased investment in the aquaculture sector.

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