CAIRO – 21 August 2018: While Egyptian leadership has exerted efforts to decrease fish imports and begin exporting fish by inaugurating major comprehensive fish projects in 2017, official statistics reported a rise in fish production in 2017 compared to 2010.
The Egyptian official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that fish production in Egypt increased from about 1.3 million metric tons in 2010, at a value of about LE 15 billion ($837.43 million), to about 1.8 million metric tons in 2017.
Witnessing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s keenness to expand fish farms, which reportedly produce about 75 percent of the total fish production, experts from the ministry of agriculture expected that the fish production will highly increase during the next few years.
Experts argue that the expected increase will help decrease imports of fish and allow the state to later export part of its fish production. According to reports, Egypt will be able to produce about 2.3 million metric tons of fish in 2020.
Head of Fish Division at Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ahmed Jaafar said in May that the volume of fish imports decreased to 250,000 tons annually from 400,000 tons.
Jaafar attributed the decline to import control implemented in the past two years. The annual consumption of fish is about 2 million tons, according to the head of the Fish Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.
Jaafar attributed the stabilization of fish prices to the start of production in the farms of Berket Ghalioun at the Kafr El Sheikh Governorate.
Berket Ghalioun farm
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated the first phase of the $100 million Berket Ghalioun farm project in November, 2017 to build a huge fish farm on 12,000 feddans, using the latest advanced techniques in the field of fish farming.
The project consists of a hatchery of fish and shrimp on an area of 17 feddans, with a production capacity of 20 million fish and 2 billion shrimp. It also includes 1,359 aquariums and 83 projects of popular Egyptian fish.
The fish farm megaproject consists of two phases; the first phase will expectedly cover up to 70 percent of Egypt’s domestic need of fish, according to media reports.
The project’s framework includes building an ice factory on an area of 450 square meters, with a production capacity of 40 tons of crushed ice per day and 20 tons of ice blocks for freezing fish and shrimp.
A foam factory will also be constructed on an area of 1,200 square meters to produce fish and shrimp containers.
The project is set to help reduce fish imports by about 27 percent, and will provide at least 5,000 jobs for the residents of Kafr El-Sheikh and neighboring governorates.
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