Dr. Mona Mehrez, the vice-minister of agriculture for Egypt’s ministry of agriculture, spoke to the 95 participants representing major aquaculture producers and feed millers in the Middle East – North Africa (MENA) region at the opening ceremony of USSEC’s 4th Regional Aquaculture Production Conference – MENA. The conference took place from July 6 to 9 in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Mehrez’s welcome address spoke of the significance and prioritization of aquaculture to Egypt.
“Good morning. I would like to thank the organizing party for hosting this important conference on Al Kenanah Land “Egypt” which gathers all people interested in the field of aquaculture and industries related thereto in Egypt and the world,” Dr. Mehrez began.
“You are aware of the current trends of the state towards the interest in aquaculture, where the country realizes the importance of aquaculture in the provision of animal protein at a cost that is commensurate with the income of most Egyptian people.
“Therefore, the political leadership directed to expand the establishment of aquaculture projects at a governmental level, such as the Suez Canal project for aquaculture and the Ghalion project for aquaculture production, as well as supporting small and medium-sized private sector projects and facilitating the administrative procedures thereof.
“Dear attendance, you are aware of the significance of Egypt in the region in the field of aquaculture as it ranks first among the countries of Africa and the Mediterranean countries and the tenth worldwide in the amount of about 1.8 million tons.
“You know that this field has started in Egypt since the early 1990s on the shoulders of experts who started in the General Authority for Fisheries Development and now have become leaders of the fish sector in the private sector and contribute to the practical development of the sector and they are considered the locomotive of development for this sector.
“The state is making the effort in cooperation with some European countries through joint projects to provide the necessary services for the development of this sector, especially in the field of marine aquaculture, such as the establishment of marine fish hatcheries, which match the latest global hatcheries, as well as the establishment of models of marine fish cages and models of aquaculture multi nutrition farms where it depends on the feed consumption provision and the conservation of the environment, as well as the establishment of models for hatcheries and oyster farms to provide employment opportunities for the youth at a nominal cost with the achievement of effective returns.
“In addition to projects that have already has been executed to publish the complete vegetarian aquaculture, especially in the desert area for water recycle for the optimal utilization for the water unit and for other privileges. Each ton of feed fish consumed gives 125 kilograms of nitrogen and the usage of fish tank water in agriculture increases the fertility of soil and decreases the usage of chemical fertilizers and increases the agricultural production not below than 30 percent. There are 15 farms in the private sector for integrated fish farming which produce about 700 tons of tilapia per cycle.
“Also, a total of 20 fish facilities have been registered for exporting to the European Union. The Ghalion pond farm has been registered for fish farming for exporting fish. A fish diagnosis laboratory has been approved for Ghalion pond fish project in accordance with ISO 17025.
“A plan is also being developed to convert the open system to intensive or non-intensive and all these projects, which are being implemented to have Egypt's fish production in 2020, reach an amount of 2.3 million tons.
“Finally, I hope achieving the objectives of this conference towards the activation of mutual cooperation system between the audience and the exchange of experiences for the benefit of humanity and the provision of food.
“Thank you for the participation and attendance and I wish you benefit and spend a useful and effective working day full goodness and prosperity for your people . . . and Assalam Alaikom wa Rahmato Allah wa Barakatoh [Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.]”