ZANZIBAR plans to invest 81.6 billion euros, more than 90% of the ministerial blue economy budget, in various projects aimed at accelerating the country’s economic growth, the House of Representatives announced on Wednesday.
Blue Economy and Fisheries Minister Suleiman Masoud Makame told the House that the government is committed to boosting economic production through sustainable uses of marine resources.
Unveiling the budget proposals of 89.7 billion/- for the financial year 2022/2023, Minister Makame said that the ministry, in the envisaged budget, will enable small entrepreneurs to benefit from training, capital and markets for their ocean products, with the aim of fighting unemployment, especially among young people. .
He identified the budget priorities of the ministry as training and empowerment; conservation and management of the marine environment; fisheries and marine resources research; construction of fishing and seaweed farming infrastructure; and improving the quality of ocean products.
The minister announced the purchase of a huge and modern fishing vessel among the ministry’s strategies to boost deep-sea fishing, adding that the ministry will also administer the construction and distribution of 577 fishing boats in wananchi and construct 100 sea crows, 60 sea crabs. and 40 fishing dams.
He further explained that the Ministry intends to build two fishing ports – Kizimkazi, Unguja and Shumba, Pemba; fishing camps and provide commercial services at Malindi Port under the Japanese-funded project.
Other aligned projects include the Scaling Up Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Project in Tanzania; integrated project for the empowerment of women in the cultivation of seaweed and other marine products; agriculture and fisheries development project.
In addition, Zanzibar Fisheries Company Limited (ZAFICO) and Khairu Naval Craft Engineering Ltd will jointly implement the boat building, sardine processing and deep sea fishing projects, the Minister informed.
The construction of a natural gas/LPG storage facility and gas distribution infrastructure as well as bulk storage facilities and petroleum distribution infrastructure are other important projects in the budget estimates. .
The ministry plans to open new areas and invite potential investors for oil and gas exploration.
The ministry through the blue economy program plans to conduct research on the real uses of ocean spaces; conduct policy and structural analyzes to facilitate marine area use planning; and mobilizing and empowering wananchi to participate in the blue economy; and establish the blue economy development fund.
Under the fisheries development program, the goal is to increase fishing and the production of other marine products through agriculture, with seaweed expected to increase by 12,000 to 15,000 tons per year.
The program will also, through training and equipment, enable 5,000 artisanal fishermen to fish in deep waters; and train 200 groups of fishermen in Unguja and Pemba in modern methods of farming fish, crows and crabs.
The House Economics Committee, however, called on the government to accelerate oil and gas exploration and shift to extraction work to save the country from the effects of price instability due to import dependence. fuel.
Committee chairwoman Sabiha Filfil Thani has called for extensive oil and gas research, arguing that the islanders are eagerly awaiting the benefit of natural resources.
She challenged the ministry to urgently recruit fishing camp leaders to properly oversee fishing activities, citing an acute shortage of officers, especially on Pemba Island.