Bahrain's fish farms aim to replenish depleting fish stocks
Bahrain set for major food production boost
Manama, July 7, 2014
Bahrain's fisheries and agricultural sectors are expected to receive a major boost in investment in the next five years.
Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi said that investors have started pumping money into fish farms and hydroponic gardens, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
He said six fish farms and three hydroponic gardening projects have already been launched.
"With regards to fish farming, we have a floating cages' company starting work next month, while another will start on coast work by the end of the year," he said.
"Four companies are also set to do projects and one of them is on its way to get its contract signed within the upcoming days.
"Fish farming will contribute 180 tonnes (of fish) by the end this year, it will increase to 1,000 tonnes by the end of next year and we are aiming for 10,000 tonnes that matches consumption, in addition to yield from normal fishing, within five years.
"An outcry from traders that fish produced by farming is cheaper than that sold in the market is not of concern to us since it is a competitive market, in which the consumer decides to pay BD2 ($5.2) per kilo for hammour or BD7."
The fish farms produce hammour, safi and seabream among others, but Dr Al Ka'abi said more types will soon be bred with the introduction of new technologies.
Dr Al Ka'abi also said three contractors were currently leasing space at Hawrat A'ali to construct hydroponic gardens.
"Hydroponic gardening produce is gaining popularity among consumers and we are looking to further promote it, which would see more investors besides the three that have now come in," he said.
"Hawrat A'ali has our agricultural incubator and we are training small farmers on new technologies and new farming techniques as we are set to open the new Farmers' Market in addition to that in Budaiya, before the end of the year."
Meanwhile, Dr Al Ka'abi said financial and technical studies on investment in a land granted by the Sudanese government to Bahrain have been completed.
"The private sector will be asked to step in soon and we are co-ordinating with Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company to have a stake with investors in the Sudanese land granted to us," he added.
The GDN reported last month that China was helping Bahrain set up a new laboratory that will support efforts to replenish the nation's fish stocks.
It will analyse fish diseases and water samples once it is operational at its headquarters in Asker.
The new facility, which is currently undergoing final preparations, is being established as Bahrain seeks to develop fish farms around the country.
It is expected to be up and running later this year and will be manned by Chinese fish specialists, who will share their knowledge with Bahraini staff. - TradeArabia News Service