KIGALI - THE Ministry of Agriculture has sent four officials to Vietnam, one of the world’s largest fishing industry, to identify the best practices that the country can use to boost the local fishing industry.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, told The New Times that Vietnam’s experience is relevant since their fisheries and aquaculture sectors are significant contributors to the Vietnamese economy.
“I sent four officials to Vietnam to look at what we can do in the fisheries sector; we are very keen on it. I too, have been to Vietnam. We are really determined to develop this sector,” said Dr. Kalibata.
Dr. Kalibata revealed the ministry’s plans to expand and upgrade aquaculture production after this reporter’s query about the imminent first ever conference of African ministers of fisheries (CAMF) themed “African fisheries and aquaculture: Contributing towards agricultural development and economic growth,” that will be held Thursday in Banjul, the Gambia.
The minister noted that she will not attend the Banjul meeting but acknowledged her keenness in developing the country’s fisheries sector.
The Banjul conference is also organized by the Department of the Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC) in conjunction with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
According to a related AUC communiqué, the first CAMF is in order to strengthen Africa’s ability to devise and implement policies for growth in the fisheries sector.
“The conference aims to facilitate information sharing in selected technical areas and engage at political level to ensure dialogue and concerted voice on critical development issues in the sector,” reads part of the AUC media advisory.
Since 2005, Africa has made tremendous progress in restoring fisheries and aquaculture on the priority of national and regional development. During the Abuja Food Security Summit in December 2006, the Heads of State and Government endeavored to protect fish as one of the strategic commodities and affirmed their commitment to attain self-sufficiency in fish production by 2015.