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The number and size of fish farms in South Africa are increasing

South Africa’s aquafeed output rising

Click on the flag for more information about South Africa SOUTH AFRICA
Friday, May 29, 2020, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The South Africa aquaculture sector’s contribution to the economy is considered minor, but the overall growth of fish farming in the country has been described by its Department of Agriculture as “fast-developing,” raising the expectations of increased demand for aquafeed and associated ingredients, particularly corn, fishmeal, soybeans, fish oil and even wheat.

A growing global awareness of the benefits of consuming seafood has seen South Africa channeling a large share of its estimated 612,200 tonnes of capture fish to international markets, thus creating gaps in domestic supply chains. A revamped aquaculture sector is expected to fill and ultimately push up the country’s per capita fish consumption from the current 6.1 kilograms, which is far below Africa’s average of 8.9 kilograms and the global figure of 20.3 kilograms.

South Africa has identified the aquaculture sector’s potential to support economic growth and had previously identified at least 24 different projects to be implemented under the country’s development blueprint of “Operation Phakisa: Ocean economy,” with a target of increasing output an estimated 5,500 tonnes – of which 3,660 tonnes are marine aquaculture in 2017 – to 20,000 tonnes by 2030.

The envisaged projects, a few of which are underway, are located mainly in aquaculture production areas of Limpop, Mpumalanga, Lowveld and northern Kwazulu Natal.

Earlier, South Africa had set a short-term target of increasing the sector’s revenue to $78 million from $27 million by the end of 2019. But because of the sluggish performance of the economy that slowed from 1.3% in 2017 to 0.7% in 2018, this may not have been achieved. Statistics on the 2019 aquaculture production levels and revenue earnings are yet to be released.

Photos: African Century Foods

Currently, South Africa’s aquaculture sector, which contributes less than 1% to the country’s gross domestic product, produces aquatic plants, shellfish and fresh fish products despite persisting constraints in supply of freshwater that hampers the freshwater fish farming.

For the marine aquaculture segment, production is focused on abalone, black mussel, oyster, prawn, finfish and seaweed. The seaweed production contributes nearly one-third of South Africa’s total aquaculture production.

In fact, the country’s share in the global farmed abalone market is more than 20%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which adds: “With the introduction of finfish culture, marine aquaculture production is expected to increase substantially.”

Freshwater aquaculture in South Africa is limited to the production of trout or salmon in the Western Cape and highlands areas, with small scale production of catfish, freshwater crayfish, tilapia and clarias gariepinus with a total output of less than 1,500 tonnes.(continue...)

Author: Shem Oirere / world-grain.com  | Read full article here



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