The Argentine Republic and St. Kitts & Nevis are embarking on a cooperation project to improve the economic benefits of fishing in the island by converting fish waste to fertilizer.
The initiative, brought forward by the South American country in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aims at the conversion of the volumes of fish waste, which are currently discarded, into livestock and human feed and fertilizer. The initiative is also designed to provide a new avenue for the employment of youth and women, while helping to ensure the island’s food
security and reduce the food import bill.
On Sunday, June 16th, a technical team will arrive in Basseterre to conduct a feasibility study on the production and use of fish silage and other value added products from fish waste, and hold interviews with the Ministry of Agriculture; Division of Marine Resources; fishing and farmer cooperatives (pig & poultry farmers); fish processors; animal feed producers; aquaculture farmers; and the Solid Waste Management Corporation.
In July, upon the conclusion of the research stage, Argentine expert Gustavo Wicki will travel to SKN to demonstrate the production of fish silage, hold training sessions and
provide technical assistance to the fishing and agricultural community.
Ambassador of Argentina, Gustavo Martinez Pandiani, referred to the impact of the project on the local economy while explaining that “this triangular cooperation initiative is very important because it gives your beautiful country the opportunity to reduce the wastage, not only by finding ways to use more fish, but also by utilizing the by-products, promoting a ‘Circular economy’. Pandiani also mentioned the potential contribution of the project in creating jobs for the youth and a culture of entrepreneurship among them.
Meanwhile, SKN Marine Resources Director, Marc Williams, expressed his enthusiasm by saying that “This initiative could solve a number of problems in our agricultural sector”, as he stressed the high cost of animal feed in the island “which is causing farmers severe distress”. In addition, he suggested that converting the waste to silage would be an answer to the dumping of fish parts, a frequent problem in the public markets.