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Jamaican RAS project to be country’s answer to food shortage

March 15, 2023  By Nestor Arellano

A recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) hatchery facility for tilapia in St. Catherine, Jamaica is being cast as a reset for the country’s aquaculture and a solution for food shortage issues.

The facility that Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries aims to build will produce up to five million fry per year. That’s an increase of 300 per cent from current production capabilities.

The facility will be built in government-owned lands in Twickenham Park in St. Catherine, according to a report from the local media, The Gleaner. The projects will be funded by the World Bank through the Climate Initiative Fund.

“The building plans having already been submitted to the St. Catherine Municipal Corp. and the architects have expressed confidence that they will get the green light, based on the advanced technology that has been incorporated into the overall design,” the report said. “It is anticipated that upon completion the hatchery will address the issue of the shortage of good quality seed stock, a bottle neck which has been hampering growth in the sector, and is especially vital as Jamaica seeks to address the issue of food and nutrition security.”


Once completed, the facility designed by the Bernard Sustainable Engineering Company is expected to produce five million advanced fry per year.

The RAS system was designed by Holland Aquaculture. The Dutch company will provide installation and training services.

The hatchery was designed by Bernard Sustainable Engineering Company. The estimated cost of the facility is US$375 million.

The design and bill of quantities for the recirculating aquaculture system were completed by Holland Aquaculture will also be responsible for the installation and training of stakeholders, as well as a brood stock improvement program. The estimated cost of RAS is US$70 million.

Building plans have already been submitted to the St. Catherine Municipal Corp.

Other benefits from the RAS facility are:

  • Reduced risk of climate shock for fish famers
  • Diversification of livelihood for families
  • The introduction of RAS technology
  • Potential future investments and job creation in the aquaculture industry.

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