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S. Korea-aided sea shrimp farm opens in Sahara Desert

All News 11:14 January 28, 2016

SEJONG, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- A sea shrimp farm has been dedicated in the middle of the Sahara Desert in northern Algeria with South Korean technology and capital, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said Thursday.

The Shrimp Cultivation Research Center has indoor and outdoor shrimp farms and several research and office buildings on a lot of 10 hectares about the size of 12 soccer fields. The center can produce up to 100 tons of marine shrimp a year.

The facility was built as a project of Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Construction began in 2011 and finished in August last year.

South Korean and Algerian experts began rearing shrimp in October 2015 and produced 500 kilograms of grown shrimp for the first time using the most up-to-date bioflock technology offered by the National Fisheries Research & Development Institute (NFRD).

Bioflock is a new technology that allows farming with less water than traditional cultivation methods thus making marine shrimp farming possible even in the middle of a desert.

The shrimp farm uses underground salty water beneath the oases of the world’s largest desert.

Algeria's portion of the Sahara Desert has an extensive underground water source beneath its sand layers, with a salt concentration of 4~5 percent, suitable for the shrimp farm, ministry officials said.

A dedication ceremony was held on Tuesday with about 200 Korean and Algerian officials attending, including Ra In-cheol, head of a research center under the NFRD.

Ra said the success of shrimp farming in the middle of the Sahara Desert is an opportunity to let the world know the infinite potential of Korea's farming technology.


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