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Aquaculture urged as fish yield plummets

Som Kanika / Khmer Times Share:

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday encouraged farmers to engage in sustainable aquaculture activities to promote domestic production, and in turn, boost the national economy.

During a field visit at the Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Development Centre (FARDC) in Prey Veng province yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said the aquaculture sector has made significant progress in contributing to food security and nutrition in Cambodia.

Though the premier acknowledged challenges faced across several sectors since the pandemic struck, he said agriculture, especially fish farming, was spared from its impacts.

Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon said the FARDC plays a vital role in conducting research in fish farming and enforcing other activities, such as aquaculture technical training, among others.

Over the years, FARDC has built a reputation in aquaculture development, known to have cultured millions of fish and other aquatic animals, of various species, annually.

Such species include the catfish, trout, tilapia, frogs and lobsters, all of which are distributed to farmers across the country.

A report from the Agriculture Ministry published yesterday said fish and shrimp farming saw stronger growth during the first half of this year, reaching 135,415 tonnes from last year’s first-half figure of 112,846 tonnes.

However, total freshwater fish yield during the first half amounted to 1,500 tonnes, equivalent to 12.5 percent of this year’s target yield. The number saw a nearly 40 percent decrease from last year’s 2,370 tonnes.

Total saltwater fish yield this year stands at 57,160 tonnes or 51.96 percent of the total target yield.

Likewise, the number posed a decline of 640 tonnes from the same period last year.

The report said the decline in both freshwater and saltwater yields contributed to lower fish processing figures for the first six months.

Revenue from the fisheries sector has so far reached approximately $83,000 – a significant drop from last year’s first-half revenue of about $91,000.

Freshwater fish exports amounted to 1,194 tonnes, a 78 percent decline from last year, the report said.

Fish processing exports stand at 232 tonnes, equivalent to 4.64 percent of the 15,000-target figure.

This marks an increase of 3,018 tonnes compared with last year.

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