Tuesday 12th March, 2019-The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is to benefit from a two hundred million Japanese Yen Grant Aid that is expected to improve the fisheries operations of the country.
A signing ceremony was held on Monday for the Grant Aid from the Government of Japan offered under “The Economic and Social Development Programme.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Fisheries Minister the Hon. Dean Jonas said: “This donation will enable the diversification of the sector; it will give Antigua access to international markets for fisheries, particularly the European Union and Asia for the large pelagic type fish. This will also enhance our food security in Antigua and Barbuda. This is quite a significant contribution and I will like thank the team in the Fisheries Division for putting this project forward and making it happen.”
He also lauded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for playing a key role in the realization of this major project.
Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan- Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Yoshinori Yakabe, said that it was his pleasure to engage in this signing on behalf of his government.
Counsellor Yakabe said that with this grant, approximately US $ 1.8 million, the government of Antigua and Barbuda will procure fisheries-related equipment such as aggregating devices, a hydraulic boat lift, pick-up trucks and a waste water treatment aerator system to improve the operational efficiency and hygienic environment, which is essential for the fisheries industry.
Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer, Tricia Lovell said “This particular project is really about providing equipment that will continue to help us to become more sustainable, to continue to diversify the sector as we try to move away from coastal fisheries into more larger scale pelagic fisheries, as we try to prepare for things like disaster risk reduction and hurricanes that we are plagued with.”
Antigua and Barbuda is among six OECS countries that will benefit from the project.
All the equipment to be procured will be utilized by the fisheries division and provisions are also made in the project for maintenance of the equipment over the long term.