Minister Commends Algix for Investment in Fish Production

Photo: Marlon Tingling Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J. C. Hutchinson (right), is greeted by Managing Director of Algix Jamaica Limited, Maurice Reynolds, when he arrived to launch the company’s Basa fish marketing programme on January 20. The Minister has commended Algix for its investment in the production of the Basa freshwater fish at the farm located at Barton Isle in St. Elizabeth.

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J. C. Hutchinson, has welcomed the decision by Algix Jamaica Limited to pump millions of dollars into the production of the Basa freshwater fish at its facilities in St. Elizabeth.
  • The Minister said the Government remains cognizant of its role in developing the infrastructure and policies to support the fishing industry, and is determined to partner with private interests, both local and overseas, in the holistic development of the sector.
  • The Minister said the Government is moving to create a sustainable and viable fishing industry and is encouraging farmers to form themselves into groups and take advantage of the available benefits.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J. C. Hutchinson, has welcomed the decision by Algix Jamaica Limited to pump millions of dollars into the production of the Basa freshwater fish at its facilities in St. Elizabeth.

Addressing a market launch for the fish in Barton Isle, St. Elizabeth, on January 20, the Minister said the Basa project represents part of the solutions to challenges which are being faced by farmers involved in the production of the Tilapia breed of freshwater fish.

“In 2013, the Ministry embarked on a programme to facilitate the diversification of the aquaculture programme in Jamaica. At that time, we were facing challenges with Tilapia. It was recognised that Basa production represented an emerging opportunity for Jamaica,” he noted.

The Minister said the Government remains cognizant of its role in developing the infrastructure and policies to support the fishing industry, and is determined to partner with private interests, both local and overseas, in the holistic development of the sector.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hutchinson informed that a project preparation grant of US$125,000 has been received from the World Bank for the development of the industry, which is aimed at enhancing community-based climate resilience projects in selected fishing and fish farming communities.

The Minister said the Government is moving to create a sustainable and viable fishing industry and is encouraging farmers to form themselves into groups and take advantage of the available benefits.

“Internationally, we have seen where the success of the industry has relied heavily on the farming groups. My challenge therefore to the farmers is to ensure that they are members of farmers groups and work towards strengthening the capacity of these groups. The Ministry stands ready to assist you in making this a reality,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that there are some 2,000 acres of idle freshwater fish ponds across the island and efforts are being made to attract contract farmers to resuscitate those farms.

The Algix Fish Farm in Barton Isle sits on a 338-acre property containing 98 fish ponds. The company is aiming to produce 100 tonnes of the Basa fish per month for the export and local markets, while ramping up its Tilapia production.

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