The Mozambican Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, said that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) envisages achieving over 350,000 tonnes of annual aquaculture production by 2030, up from 100,950 tonnes in 2020.
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Addressing the opening session of the joint meeting of SADC Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security and Fisheries, on 7 May, she said this goal required diversified production and integrated value chains.
"The implementation of the SADC Action Plan for Aquaculture is fundamental, because it will contribute to poverty eradication and food security. It is also an opportunity for the private sector to generate wealth and employment," she said.
The joint meeting was attended by 92 delegates from the SADC’s fourteen Member States, namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Ministers applauded the positive development trajectory witnessed in the area of fisheries and aquaculture which now employs approximately 3 million people in the region and contributes about 9 percent of the region's agriculture GDP.
Maita argued that the member states must be aligned to take advantage of aquaculture, given the current low levels of capture fisheries. She also praised the regional initiative for the creation of a regional Centre for Monitoring, Coordination, Control and Inspection of Fisheries, which will be based in Mozambique, and will assist member countries in reacting to illegal fishing, which requires a regional and multinational approach. ■
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