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Monday, 15 November 2010

Mozambique: Government Hopes to Increase Fisheries Exports

The Mozambican government hopes to increase annual exports of fisheries produce from the current 70 million US dollars to 170 million dollars over the next ten years.The bulk of fisheries exports go to the European Union, but the government wants to diversify and reach other markets.According to Fisheries Minister Victor Borges, a series of actions are under way to increase fisheries production, particularly by attracting more investment to this sector.Currently fisheries produce accounts for only four per cent of Mozambican exports and two per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product. These figures, said Borges, "pose a great challenge to the sector, which is to ensure increased availability of fisheries produce on the national market, and a greater contribution from the fisheries to the balance of payments".Speaking in Maputo today, at a meeting with a business delegation from Mauritius, headed by the Mauritian Fisheries Minister, Louis Joseph Von-Mally, Borges recognised that Mozambican fisheries production is well below its potential.Including both maritime and freshwater fishing, production is about 150,000 tonnes a year, which Borges estimated at 45 per cent of potential. As for aquaculture, this area has room for vast expansion. It only produces 630 tonnes a year, but has an estimated potential for two million tonnes."The fisheries sector continues to play a strategic role in food and nutritional security, foreign exchange earnings and job creation", said Borges. "In the economic sphere our main challenge is to mobilise the investment needed to take advantages of the fisheries and aquaculture potential available in Mozambique",The government has just approved a Fisheries Master Plan for the period 2010-2019, with the immediate objective of strengthening the sector's contribution to food security.The plan also seeks to improve the living conditions of communities of small scale fishermen, and increase the contribution made by the fisheries and by aquaculture to achieving economic and social development, as well as increasing the net contribution the sector makes to the balance of payments.

 Source: AllAfrica