Maputo — The Mozambican Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, said on Friday that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) envisages achieving, by 2030, over 350,000 tonnes of aquaculture production, which was estimated at 100,950 tonnes in 2020.
Addressing from Maputo the opening session of the Joint Meeting of SADC Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security and Fisheries, which was held virtually, Maita said this goal will be attained through diversified production and integrated value chains drawn up to achieve the overall objectives of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan.
"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, in representation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Celso Correia, who currently heads the SADC ministerial body.
The member states, she pointed out, must be aligned with the need to make efforts intended to take the greatest possible advantage from the fisheries potential offered by the region, especially for aquaculture, taking into account the current low levels of catches.
Maita 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.
She hailed the regional efforts to promote sustainable management of fishery resources in the framework of the "Blue Economy", maximizing its benefit, ranging from an improvement in food and nutritional security, job creation through the development of a value chain up to resilience to climate change.
As for agriculture, Maita said "It's our concern, in the framework of the Regional Agriculture Policy, to ensure coordinated control and management of cross-border animal diseases and pests affecting crops".
Thus, member countries, she warned, must focus on the Crop Development Regional Programme which will control the quality of fertilisers, but also the Livestock Development Regional Programme intended to enhance and coordinate regional policies and strategies in the areas of animal production, disease control and marketing.