Mozambique: Largest Fisheries Project Nears Completion

Maputo — Moma (Mozambique) , 19 Jun (AIM) - The largest fishing and aquaculture project in Mozambique, with an investment of around 100 million US dollars, is nearing its conclusion in the town of Moma, on the coast of the northern province of Nampula.

The undertaking, visited on Tuesday by Nampula provincial governor Victor Borges, claims that it will provide jobs for around 2,000 people, involved in the various stages of fishing and the production of shellfish (such as prawns, lobsters and crabs) in aquaculture.

When the project becomes operational in October, its owner, the Chinese company Stonechen Commercal, expects to produce around 20 tonnes of various types of seafood per day.

As he toured the premises, Borges was informed that the factory is 75 per cent complete. The company's spokesperson, Mussa Sarajabo, told him that it has been in Moma for nine years. "In addition to this processing factory, our complex here includes a fishing port, and a factory making fish feed", he said.

The project is delayed, Sarajabo said, because of cyclone Idai, which struck central Mozambique on 14 March. The cyclone scored a direct hit on the city of Beira, where the heavy equipment for Stonechen Commercial was awaiting transport to Moma.

"The heavy equipment was in Beira, and we were waiting for transport, when Idai struck. A lot was destroyed, and the losses were incalculable", Sarajabo explained. The equipment was still in Beira, because of the poor state of the road from Nampula city to Moma.

"In its current state, the Nampula-Moma road is not able to bear the weight of our equipment", he said. "So we are waiting for it to improve, and we are urging the authorities to deal with the matter urgently".

Borges confirmed that three stretches on the Nampula-Moma road require particular attention. "We have our teams on the ground to solve this situation", he promised, "and certainly it will soon be possible to bring this heavy equipment to the factory".

Sarajabo said the company will operate with 25 industrial and 60 semi-industrial fishing vessels . 70 per cent of the company's production will be exported, while 30 per cent will be sold on the domestic market.

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