PHNOM PENH, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has inaugurated the Upper Mekong Aquatic Animal Production and Research Center in northeastern Stung Treng province, said a news release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Thursday.
The 1.75-million-U.S.-dollar center, funded by a World Bank loan and a contribution from the government, was developed on a parcel of 10 hectares in Sesan district, the news release said, adding that the construction of the center started in October 2020 and was completed in September 2021.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said the center is essential to develop aquaculture in the northeastern part of the country.
He added that the center will play an important role in ensuring food security through fish farming and aquaculture to supply local and export markets.
"The center will play a role in the production and promotion of aquatic species and it will be a venue for training breeding and raising techniques and conserving aquatic species," Sakhon said. "It will also improve the efficiency of the management of fishery resources in the upper Mekong River."
World Bank country manager for Cambodia Maryam Salim said the center is the first regional research and hatchery center for Cambodia based in the upper Mekong province.
"The center will produce 3 million fingerlings a year and provide better services to fish farmers," she said at the event. "In addition, the center will also become an important research and innovation hub for local and international researchers on the high value fish species."
Poum Sotha, director-general of the Fisheries Administration, said the center has 24 ponds, including one large water storage pond, 12 young fry ponds, four ponds for fattening fish, six for breeding and one for wastewater treatment.
There are also facilities for administration, research and laboratory, aquaculture, training, and fish breeding, hatchery and rearing, he said.