Fisheries sector to receive a boost with planned upgrades to Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station

close to $40 million budgeted for works this year

With Government announcing transformative measures for Guyana’s aquaculture sector, the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station is expected to benefit from a series of upgrades during the year.

Last week, the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture inked a $39,912,372 contract with Doodnauth Construction and Supplies, which will undertake the upgrades, and expansion to the Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, facility.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha (3rd right) hands over contract documents to a representative from Doodnauth Construction and Supplies in the presence of other ministry officials

During the contract signing, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha stressed the importance of having those projects completed in a timely manner.

With the project scheduled to start next week, the Minister said the works are intended to increase the aquaculture stations’ current capacity.

“The expansion of the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station will double the present capacity of the facility and improve its ability to deliver on a wider selection of species for research, and make available to farmers for grow-out.

Species that will be targeted are lukanani, patwa, tambaqui, kreketeh/snail, hassar, and arapaima. Upgrades to the facility will include the construction of seven 46’ x 23’ concrete ponds, the construction of 540 feet of earthen road, as well as the erection of a 1690 feet fence,” Minister Mustapha said.

The Minister also said the upgrades were in keeping with Government’s plan to further develop the country’s aquaculture sector.

The Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station

“Since taking office last August, Government has been pushing and promoting the development of the local aquaculture sector. After closely examining the layout and land available at the aquaculture station, a decision was taken for several upgrades to be made to develop the facility and, by extension, the sector.

If we are going to promote and develop aquaculture in Guyana, fisherfolks need to have access to a certain amount of fingerlings at any given period. This is why we needed to ensure we utilise the available space, construct additional ponds, and execute an overall upgrade,” Minister Mustapha said.

Apart from contracted works, the Minister disclosed that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority would also be assisting the Fisheries Department with clearing 7.5 acres of land for the expansion and the construction of 23 earthen ponds of various sizes.

These works are expected to be completed by the first week in September of this year.

Over the last eight months, the Government has taken several steps to reorganise and rejuvenate the sector. In March, the Guyana National Fisherfolk Organization hosted their second national election after being dormant for some time.

Minister Mustapha and other officials during a tour of the facility last year

Additionally, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had announced that Government will soon launch an aquaculture master plan that will see the sector taking off.  President Ali had noted that as a result of climate change and the changing landscape of the global fisheries industry, the Government was encouraged to come up with innovative ways to transition to an aquaculture-based operation.

The Agriculture Ministry has commenced sensitisation and consultation exercises with the local fisher-folk to ensure the sector is developed sustainably.

Guyana’s aquaculture sector is being targeted for massive development in both the long term and short term.  This year, $293 million was allocated for the development of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector.