Grenada shows very promising perspectives for aquaculture development on short and medium terms. The most important factor is that one form of aquaculture, grow-out of freshwater prawns (well known on the island as crayfish), can immediately start on a commercial and financially viable basis.
There is no need for research programs, there is only need to demonstrate to the potential investors that “it works” in Grenada and to make the proper technology available in Grenada for these investors. It is definitely not a technical problem, it is a problem of political will and decision.
On a wider point of view, freshwater prawn culture will be also the starting point of aquaculture development in Grenada. The investors will quickly understand that aquaculture is a source of profit and this will increase their interest for other forms of aquaculture still needing complementary research programs. No doubt that freshwater prawn culture is one way to create in Grenada a dynamism of development.
There are 2 key questions which require to be answered:
Which technical partner has :
The adapted technology for freshwater prawn culture as regards the grenadian conditions ?
The required staff with experience on both production and transfer of technology.
How funding the 3 mains components of this 2 years project that are the capital costs, the operating costs and the technical assistance program.
It is relatively easy to answer to the first question. The French have already successfully developed freshwater prawn culture in the French West Indies (Martinique and Guadeloupe) and a similar development is now under course in French Guyana. In addition, the IFREMER/FRANCE-AQUACULTURE group is involved in various private projects (freshwater prawn project) in Jamaïca and Trinidad. Research facilities are already fully operational in Martinique while these in French Guyana will be very soon.
Under these conditions, a french technical assistance is likely to be the most adapted to the grenadian context. The advantages are the following :
Easy and close-by, well adapted overseas training for the grenadian staff ;
Experts with experience on production, training and extension in the Caribbean region ;
Introduction of a technology that has already demonstrated its viability in the Caribbean region.
For the second question, the consultants team could hold, during the mission, various talks with potential partners.
The following institutions could eventually finance or co-finance the prawn project :
European Development Fund : the funds from EDF in Grenada have already been allocated for the next 4–5 years. However, some projects are still in negociation and it is up to the Government to modify the priorities ;
Caribbean Development Bank : it is mostly involved in commercial projects. However the project should be discussed with C.D.B. as it will promote an activity and initiate a new market for the bank (the future farmers who will need loans for their farms) ;
Caribbean Food Corporation : as a regional development institution, part of its funds is devoted to such development projects. Furthermore funds may be still available ;
French Cooperation : provided sufficient funds be available for the coming years, some co-financement of the technical assistance program could be envisaged from the French Cooperation programme.
CROP OF FRESHWATER PRAWNS IN MARTINIQUE
FRESHWATER PRAWN IN MARTINIQUE
AQUAPAC : FRESHWATER PRAWN FARM IN TAHITI (FRENCH POLYNESIA)