China vies with EU, South Korea to help Algeria develop aquaculture
China is vying with the European Union and South Korea to be the international partner of choice for Algeria as the Mediterranean state seeks to develop its aquaculture sector.
“China has first-class equipment and expertise in agriculture and fisheries,” Algeria Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Cherif Omari said after meeting recently with Li Lian He, Beijing’s ambassador to Algeria. The ambassador, in turn, promised further assistance in training for Algerian agriculture and aquaculture specialists.
Developing the country’s aquaculture and fisheries value chain has been a priority for Omari’s department. But others are also helping the North African state – among them South Korea and the European Union. The E.U. – which shares the Mediterranean with Algeria – has spent EUR 15 million (USD 17.1 million) on a program to train Algerian officials in skills such as sanitation management and statistics to help the country develop its aquaculture sector.
The DIVECO 2 program aims to help Algeria diversify its economy, according to an Algeria summary, which also points to the needs to develop a “value chain” in fisheries which will include increasing employment in crustacean aquaculture as well as processing.
Aside from meeting the Chinese ambassador, Omari has also been talking to representatives from the Korean International Cooperation Agency, which has pledged to build a feed plant – with the capacity to produce up to 10 tons of feed daily – to supply the country’s key shrimp farm at Hassi Ben Abdellah.
Development of employment in Algeria is a priority for Europe, given North Africa is a key transit point for migration to the E.U.. Algeria, meanwhile, has become a major supplier of oil to China, which is also building a number of high-profile infrastructure projects in the country. One of those, a giant mosque, was a source of public anger that forced the recent resignation of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, highlighting the risk of regional political turmoil for China.