The initiative will support projects led by cooperatives of fishermen and young entrepreneurs.
Rabat – Morocco’s southern region of Souss-Massa announced its readiness to launch 24 aquaculture projects as part of the region’s aquaculture development plan.
These include 20 shellfish farming projects and four seaweed farming projects, the president of the region, Brahim Hafidi, told Morocco’s state media.. He added that the region is currently introducing approximately 11 projects over an area of 438 hectares.
The aquaculture projects fall within the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture’s (ANDA) plan to boost the sector in the Souss-Massa region.
With a total budget of MAD 248 million ($27.2 million), ANDA forecasts a production of 13,000 tonnes by 2023, in addition to the creation of 319 direct jobs.
In addition to welcoming investments and creating jobs, the new projects will also improve the quality of life of seafarers who engage in aquaculture, according to the official.
The regional council allocated a sum of MAD 20 million ($2.2 million) to the initiative, while the Department of Maritime Fisheries allocated MAD 12 million ($1.3 million) to the projects.
The funding comes to support structural investments for the development of aquaculture in Souss-Massa, and support initiatives of fishermen’s and young entrepreneurs’ cooperatives.
The growing sector of aquaculture in Morocco also attracts foreign investment.
In May, investors from the Netherlands and Norway contributed $2.5 million to an aquaculture project in the southern province of Sidi Ifni, 160 kilometers from Agadir.
The UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) also supports the project.
Aquaculture in Morocco dates back to 1956, thanks to a French oyster farmer who created the first oyster park in the lagoon of the city of Oualidia, 176 kilometers from Casablanca.