ARGENTINA: The Ministry of Science of the Nation (MINCYT) and the government of Tierra del Fuego signed a collaboration and technical cooperation agreement to carry out a strategic aquaculture project.
The initiative, "Innovation Aquaculture Argentina - Innovacua", includes the design, development and installation of an integrated multitrophic farm for rainbow trout farming, Macrocystis seaweed and blue mussels, in addition to king crab capture and restocking.
According to the encouragers of this proposal, this project is unique in South America because of its characteristics, and it is a pilot experience that will provide the necessary knowledge for the subsequent scaling up and development of the productive sector.
Innovaqua will be financed through the Argentine Sector Fund (FONARSEC) of the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion (ANPCYT) of the MINCYT, with money from the National Treasury and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for more than ARS 134 million (USD 8.2 million).
The contribution will cover up to 70 per cent of the expenses while the public-private partnership consortium (CAPP) in charge of the project must contribute the difference to total the ARS 192 million (USD 11.8 million) that the proposal demands.
The investment will cover the implementation of the farm itself, the fry hatchery, and the processing and final product processing plants. In turn, it will include the necessary research and development activities.
The approach of aquaculture, within the framework of the interministerial initiative "Collective Innovation: Science and Technology to have better driven life" from the National Government, responds to the high potential of the country for this activity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Argentina has the largest area of sea suitable for aquaculture production in the region, so it is a resource that has not been used to this day.
During the presentation of the call last December, experts agreed that the country has the environmental conditions together with the productive and commercial capacities necessary to carry out a responsible task and with international projection. Likewise, it was stated that it will be the first project with these characteristics in the subcontinent and one of the few in the world, since it includes the study and the generation of value added from native benthic species.
The ceremony was held at the Government House of Tierra del Fuego, with the participation of MINCYT Lino Barañao head; Governor Rosana Bertone; and provincial science minister Gabriel Koremblit, among other officials.