The Zero-Water Exchange Sustainable Organic Shrimp Farm project, will specialize in the production of shrimp in a socially and environmentally-friendly manner, that is, free of anti-biotics, chemical additives and enzymes.
The farm will be operated out of Bocage, St. Mark.
The organization spearheading the initiative is GSA – Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture.
High-tech, high-quality shrimp production will occur under the enclosed Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) that will eliminate problems caused by elements such as the weather and various forms of diseases.
Manfred Soeffing, GSA’s Operational Manager says there are many opportunities available to Grenadians, as employment will be drawn from the local community, and persons will be trained in this specialized technology.
“We intend to employ, locally, as many persons as possible,” says Mr. Soeffing. “With the auspices of our chief scientist, we will train workers to run this operation, which will employ new and revolutionary technologies for raising shrimp. Some of the employees, by virtue of qualifications, will have an opportunity to secure a scholarship, attend university and attain further qualification in the subject field.”
Parliamentary Representative for St. Mark, Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen expressed her excitement over the project, stating that the parish had been praying for a break like this for a long time. Now there is rejoicing.
“We have been waiting for something like that,” Hon. Modeste-Curwen said. “The Scripture says, ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles’. Our wait has paid off. The strength of people of St. Mark, our strength, is being renewed by this project that is being launched today,” said the MP and Minister for Tourism.
Min. Modeste-Curwen considers the project to be a divine intervention because of the job opportunities that will come to St. Mark. “I was told that we would start out with two plants for shrimp production, and I have been assured that each one would employ about 75 people,” she stated to applause.
“Imagine, with a small population, employing 150 people. It was music to my ears to hear that most of the labour would come from St. Mark.”
GSA says the project will be a model for the Caribbean and the rest of the world, and - due to the technology used, and quality of water in St. Mark- will produce a sweeter shrimp that will be in high demand in countries such as United States and Canada. The company plans to build and operate one complete barn that it expects to have up and running by year end. Construction of additional barns is planned for 2018.
Dr. The Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime of Grenada, was among the officials celebrating at the groundbreaking ceremony. He says the project means a lot to Government, and its potential cannot, and should not, be underestimated.
“The innovation and technology that is coming with this project is going to be a serious selling point for Grenada,” Dr. Mitchell said. “This part of the country has enormous potential, the beauty, the serenity and the people as a whole, cannot be compared, and that’s a fact. I am particularly happy to witness this …I look forward to it, to see this project take off,” PM Mitchell said.
The project also came in for high praise from Minister with responsibility for Fisheries, Hon. Alvin Dabreo, who pledged Grenada’s full commitment to the venture.
“We’re ready to work with you,” said Minister Dabreo said the GSA’s management team. “We are here – the ministry, the government and the people of St. Mark – to work with you and support you. We are very happy you have launched this project here, and thank you for choosing Grenada, and St. Mark.”