The Dutch government has teamed up with some Bangladeshi companies to invest 6 million euros to ensure sustainable growth of Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector. 

The parties will establish three centres of excellence in Sylhet, Khulna, and Cox’s Bazar to introduce and demonstrate different types of improved and more sustainable techniques for fish breeding and cultivation.

Moreover, research and trials with on-farm products such as feed additives, aqua specialties and antibiotic replacers will be conducted and technical assistance to fish breeders and farmers will be provided.

In addition, the partnership will upgrade an aqua feed line in Dhaka to increase the availability of domestically produced specialised fish feed.

The Dutch embassy in Bangladesh and a partnership of Dutch and Bangladeshi companies headed by Larive International BV launched the initiative yesterday, according to a press release of LightCastle Partners.

The partnership consists of Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd, Gemini Sea Food, Nutreco, Viqon, LightCastle Partners, and Larive International.

Birgitta Tazelaar, deputy director-general for international cooperation at the foreign affairs ministry of the Netherlands, signed an agreement with Abu Luthfe Fazle Rahim Khan, managing director of Aftab Bahumukhi Farms, and Mahmud Riyad, general manager for operations at Gemini Seafood, on August 31.

The deal signing ceremony took place at Aftab Bahumukhi’s head office at Banani in the capital.

“The Dutch embassy supports the development of more sustainable agri-food value chains in Bangladesh and encourages Dutch companies to locally invest together with local stakeholders,” said Anne van Leeuwen, ambassador of the Netherlands.

“We are glad that via this cooperation, we will be able to contribute to increased food security, more sustainable water usage, and strengthen the cooperation between the Dutch and Bangladeshi private sector.”

Fish production rose 3 per cent year-on-year to 45 lakh tonnes in 2019-20, thanks to increased aquaculture, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. It was 42 lakh tonnes in 2017-18.

Bangladesh’s success in fish production was globally recognised, with its output from open water bodies being the world’s third largest while that from closed-system aquaculture fifth.

The country is the top hilsa producing nation and the fourth-largest producer of tilapia. 

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