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Minister of State for Agriculture, Victor Cummings will head Jamaica’s delegation to a fish farming seminar in Louisiana, United States from May 15 to 19.The week-long seminar, to be held at the Rosaryville Spirit Life Centre in Ponchatoula, New Orleans, will explore fish farming and aquaculture-related issues.
It is being organised by the Public Services Institute, University of Oklahoma and the Caribbean American Programme for Empowerment (CAPE), Inc, which, along with the United States Agency for International Development and the Organization of Islamic Conferences, is coordinating the Caribbean’s presence at the seminar.
Amir Abdullah Akbar, founder/executive director of CAPE (USA), said that the event was in keeping with the objectives of the Public Service Institute and CAPE, to reduce poverty by increasing the choices in dietary protein for the poor and to encourage the expansion of fish farming enterprises in the Caribbean region.
The aim is to introduce sustainable aquaculture practices as well as increase or improve on existing fish farming techniques, reduce poverty by creating employment opportunities, increase the range of choices in available protein sources, and improve business practices to successful levels.
“We are aware that there are experienced fish farming and aquaculture operations in many countries. Our intent is to build on these strengths and attempt in some modest way, to help improve on current practices by sharing new or existing information,” Mr. Akbar noted.
Participants from more than 10 countries are expected to attend and in addition to Jamaica, the Caribbean will be represented by delegations from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Dominica and Costa Rica.
“Our objective is that each team, each participant, will be equipped to establish or enhance an enterprise in their country. We are prepared to offer technical assistance to all the trainees after the seminar,” noted Oklahoma University professor, Dr. Arthur Cole, who will be one of the presenters.
Dr. Cole said that the goal of the university was to encourage interest and generate activity leading to a reassessment of resources and practices, which will increase the productivity of farmed products.
“By the end of the seminar, each participant will have a clear understanding of the scientific approaches necessary to successfully cultivate and market fish,” he stated.