Thirty-seven participants including cooperators and officers of the Albion Fisheries Research Centre received their certificates after completing a one-week training in Ornamental Fish Farming by Dr Chih-Yang Huang, an expert from Taiwan. The handing over of certificates was held on Friday 28 September 2018 at the LIC Building in Port Louis in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah.
In his address, Minister Bholah underlined that a new dynamism should be given to the SME sector in Mauritius so as to accelerate its progress as an emerging pillar of the economy. Diversification and innovation are among the key elements to help sustain SMEs on the market and to reduce dependency on imported goods, he observed.
On this score, he pointed out that the modernisation of the sector is a must if SMEs wish to evolve into strong diversified, competitive resilient and innovative businesses. Ornamental fish farming, he emphasised, is one of the many promising fields of the SME sector which has gained importance over time and is in high demand due to low local production. The aim is to leverage ornamental fish farming as a new income generating activity and facilitate cooperatives to embark into this sector, he said.
According to the Minister, Mauritius is endowed with the favourable tropical weather conditions and the gamut of ornamental species both from fresh waters and the marine environment for breeding of ornamental fish. He highlighted that while the majority of aquaculture production is related to food production, ornamental fish production is yet another globally lucrative business which has to be exploited.
He added that some Rs 250,000 in terms of equipment, fish species, logistics and kits were disbursed for the successful completion of the training and called on young entrepreneurs as well as SMEs to tap the potential of ornamental fish farming.
Dr Chih-Yang Huang was deputed by the African Asian Rural Development Organisation to provide technical support to local cooperatives from the 15 to 29 September 2018 so that they could embark in the ornamental fish business. His specialities include aquaculture, fish disease, aquatic ecology, ornamental fish techniques and industry, aquatic organism transportation and anaesthesiology.