Onverwagt prawns project to yield an estimated $48M per crop


The prawns project being developed at Onverwagt, Region Five is poised to produce 12 tonnes of Vannamei prawns per crop, with each tonne expected to value approximately $4 million.

Therefore, the total yield per season is estimated at $48 million, with three reaping cycles anticipated annually. President Dr Irfaan Ali visited the production site to examine the project’s status on Thursday.

He was accompanied by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha and the ministry’s Director General Madanlall Ramraj.

President Ali and officials at the farm on Thursday

The government has committed $100 million to the prawn project, recognising its potential to strategically position Guyana in the global aquaculture market.

President Ali highlighted the project’s alignment with Guyana’s ambitions to become a major player in the US$4 billion aquaculture industry.

“This is the model we want to expand across the country so that we can become a major player. All the production is geared towards exportation…We are bringing in the expertise to help support investment as part of the 25 by 2025 initiative,” the president explained.

The government has enlisted the two Indonesian expertise to train local staff in prawn-rearing techniques, according to President Ali.

He also mentioned a future shift towards private-public partnerships to advance project development.

The 100-acre site comprises ten ponds, each spanning one acre and capable of housing 600,000 prawns in treated chlorine water.

The temporary aquatic nursery for the prawns

Currently, five ponds are operational, with the remaining expected to be filled by the end of the second quarter.

The first harvest is estimated in three months, with regular cleaning and water treatment every two weeks to ensure optimal conditions.

Addressing the progress on related facilities, Director Madanlall informed President Ali that the larvae facility is slated for completion by August, while the feed mill is projected to be operational by year-end.

The establishment of the feed mill is expected to reduce feeding costs from 65 per cent to 50 per cent, enhancing project viability.