|Newly renovated Hardap Inland Aquaculture Center (HIAC) next to the Hardap Dam|
The occasion was attended by several dignitaries including;
His Excellency Mr Wu Wei, Charge D’Affaires at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. Counsellor Liu Huabo, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. His Worship the Mayor of Mariental, Mr Willem Joseph Mensah. Dr Ahmadu Babagana, FAO Representative in Namibia. Mr Wang, Manager of SinoHydro Tiajin Co. Ltd. Mr Yin Dongie, Representative of Beijing Dayan Bihai Fisheries Institute of Plan and Design. Mr Tang Haitao, Representative of Beijing Xida Construction Company. The Acting Regional Officer of Mariental, Ms Teresia Basson. The CEO of Mariental, Mr Paul Ngwiwilepo. Local Authorities Councillors. Several Government Officials and members of Media.
|View of the climate controlled Hatchery and Nursery Green-houses|
The Director of Ceremonies, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent Secretary (MFMR) facilitated the the smooth execution of proceedings. Honourable Governor of Hardap Region welcomed everybody to the inauguration. Mr. Wang, from the Sinohydro Tiajin Co.Ltd who did the renovations gave detailed feedback of his company’s involvement in the renovation of HIAC. This was followed with remarks by His Excellency, Wu Wei the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Hon. Minister, Bernhard Esau of the MFMR. In his address Hon. Esau highlighted aquaculture development as one of the important priority areas under Vision 2030, identified because of its potential to contribute significantly to food self-sufficiency, poverty reduction, employment and revenue creation. By locating aquaculture facilities in rural areas, the Government aims to stimulate local economies and increase fish consumption nationally.
Hon. Esau further emphasised that the MFMR is committed to constructing aquaculture infrastructure in various Regions of our country of which the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region is one such structure.
The Ground-breaking Ceremony which marked the commencement of the work at HIAC took place on 24 November 2014. Hon. Esau then gave a brief background of the project as follow:
“Seven years ago, at the beginning of 2009, the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of Namibia signed an Economic and Technical Agreement, facilitated through the National Planning Commission, in which the Government of China agreed to provide the Government of Namibia with a grant of RMB Yuan 50 Million, equivalent to N$ 65 Million.
RMB Yuan 15 Million of this grant was allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources at the time. At the current exchange rate, this translates to about N$35 million.
Following this allocation, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources agreed that these funds be utilized to upgrade the existing aquaculture facilities at Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region.
In November 2010, through an Exchange of Letters, the Chinese Government agreed to send a team of experts to Namibia to carry out a feasibility study on the upgrading of facilities at the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre. The team of experts arrived in Namibia in April 2011 and carried out a feasibility study over a period of ten days. Following this study, meetings were held between the Ministry and the experts and Agreed Minutes were signed, stipulating clearly what was expected from both sides.
In April 2012, the Vice Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of China, Hi Excellency Mr Hui Lianyu visited Namibia and Exchange Letters were signed again by the two sides in which they agreed, among other matters, that the Chinese Government will implement the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre Project. At the beginning of September 2012, the Ministry received an invitation from the Chinese Government to send a team to China to look at the designs before the implementation of this project.
Following this visit which was led by my Permanent Secretary at the time, Ms Ulitala Hiveluah, the Chinese Government then contracted a company, Synohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, to carry out the upgrading at the Centre. A contract between this Company and the Ministry was eventually signed on 29th August 2014 and work commenced shortly thereafter.”
Upgrading of facilities at the Centre included the following:
Construction of a new integrated processing workshop and a new cold storage building;
Renovation of open marketable-size fish ponds;
Construction of 2 marketable-size fish production ponds; and
Construction of big size fingerling production ponds.
|One of the production ponds constructed|
Because of the dedicated and strict work ethics of the Contractor, Sinohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, the renovation took just over a year to complete.
Hon. Esau also mentioned that the upgraded design of the facility took into account the extreme winters of this Region by covering the ponds with special plastic which create a greenhouse effect, ensuring climate control that mitigates against extreme temperature fluctuations. The climate control will make it possible for fish to spawn throughout the year, even during the extremes of cold winter or hot summer. In addition, brood-stock collection from the dam, breeding and management at the Centre already started in 2014 with the breeding and selection of new brood-stock as off-springs of the wild stock. Fingerling production on the other hand started from October 2015. Fingerlings will be stocked in the new fish production ponds and grown to marketable sizes.
The current grow-out period of the tilapia which is used for the fish production is 10 to 12 months, although there is ongoing research and trials to minimise the grow-out period and to save costs.
The new facilities (newly re-furbished hatchery) will also be able to produce a minimum of 31,000 fingerlings per month, which will be used to fill up the Centre ponds and also for sale to local fish farmers. The marketable-size fish produced will be processed at the Centre in our newly-built fish processing plant. It is envisaged that we will be able to sell fish in various forms (gutted with scales, gutted without scales and filleted) to the public. These newly constructed processing facilities were designed to comply with HACCP certification conditions, which is essential to meet EU export requirements.
|New Procesing facility at HIAC|
Hon. Esau further used the opportunity to request, through the Charge D’Affaires, for a favourable consideration of the Ministry’s Concept Note on the Development of Aquaculture Infrastructure in Namibia, which was forwarded to the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, through the National Planning Commission, under the Africa - China Relations Grant.