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Demand for tilapia goes up
There has been a big increase in demand for farm-raised tilapia since the start of the year. Sales at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre (SFC) in Longdenville have increased from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds a week. SFC project director Suresh Benny told the T&T Guardian consumers had been buying more of the farmed-raised fish because of concerns about pollution following the oil spills last month.
Benny said there had been increasing demand for the tilapia since last year after the Ministry of Food Production embarked on a promotion campaign and introduced initiatives to open more markets for local farmers. There is now an arrangement in place where the SFC is purchasing tilapia from farmers and processing and marketing the fish. The SFC is currently selling tilapia directly to customers at $15 a pound. Arrangements have not yet been made to supply the farm raised fish to supermarkets.
Benny said there were plans to boost production and farmers with idle capacity might soon start ramping up to meet the growing demand. He added there had been a levelling off of marine fisheries and aquaculture was expected to generate more than 50 per cent of the global demand for fish by 2015.