OUARGLA – Tuesday, 10 October 2023  (APS) – The Minister of Fishing and Fishery Resources Ahmed Badani highlighted Monday the crucial role of universities in developing the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Chairing the opening of a study day themed “Promising Prospects for Aquaculture in the South,” held at Ouargla’s Kasdi-Merbah University, Badani highlighted the “crucial” role of the university in training, scientific research, technological development and professional integration to achieve socio-economic development and enhance the value of scientific research in this field.

“Through its research facilities, the university constitutes a reservoir of skills that can be put to use in wealth-generating and job-creating investments, which are levers for the national economy and food security,” he assured.

He added: “The fishing and aquaculture sector is one of the sectors included in the Government’s program for diversification and economic development”.

The sector attaches great importance to training and research, particularly in desert regions, as evidenced by the building of a fish feed manufacturing unit in Ouargla, which is the fruit of an Algeria-South Korea partnership, also intended to serve as a practical training centre for students.

Boualem M’hamdi, a representative of the Ministry in charge of aquaculture, gave an overview of aquaculture activities, including aquaponics (aquaculture integrated with agriculture), breeding, rearing, fattening and marketing of fish products.

“The sector’s 2024 program aims to develop aquaculture farming, innovation in aquaculture farming to generate new investment prospects, as well as multi-sectoral coordination – banking institutions and investment funds, ministries of water resources and agriculture – to achieve these development goals,” said the same official.

Aicha Benhadjira, an aquaculture engineer from Ouargla, presented the many advantages and facilities available to young farmers wishing to implement their aquaculture projects in the region, in particular aquaponics. He also showcased successful models in freshwater aquaculture.

The event, attended by experts, researchers and professionals, featured a wealth of presentations and papers relating to the theme, including “University Perspectives on Research and Development in the Desert Aquaculture Sector”, and “Entrepreneurship and Start-ups in Aquaculture.”

The event also includes an exhibition on the research projects carried out in this field by academics.