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01 Dec 2013

A fruitful cooperation between National Aquaculture Group and King Abdul Aziz University to combine academic study with practical experience

Eng. Ahmed Rasheed Al Ballaa "The Aquaculture Industry to create 400 thousand job opportunities for Saudis in next years"

[Jeddah, December 2013] Prof Osama S. Tayyeb - President of King Abdul Aziz University said "It is an immense pleasure for us to see our youth getting the practical experiences in parallel with their academic studies". He further expressed his view on the occasion of inaugurating the expansion and development of the fish farm facility at the Faculty of Marine Sciences in Obhor. He expressed his happiness with such projects that emphasize on the importance of cooperation between the academic studies and the practical experience in this promising sector in the Saudi Arabia, for the mutual benefit of both the university and the relevant industry.


The inauguration for the expansion and development of the fish farm facilities took place under the patronage of His Excellency, and was attended by the University representatives and Eng. Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Ballaa, the Managing Director of National Aquaculture Group. The delegation toured all farm facilities including the renovated shrimp Hatchery, larvae unit, Shrimp and fish Cultivation Ponds and Alga unit which have been upgraded under the sponsorship of National Aquaculture Group. These facilities provide the students with opportunities to gain practical experience to support their academic studies.


Dr. Osama said: "King Abdul Aziz University, specially the Faculty of Marine Sciences, gives a great attention for aquaculture due to the economic revenues it generates to the nation, apart from many job opportunities for our youth in having a promising future. We are very pleased to collaborate with the National Aquaculture Group that has a pioneering experience in the field of aquaculture.”


Dr. Osama Added "We want to achieve our strategic vision to move forward to be an added value to the national economy, and we are also keen on developing the Saudi youth scientifically to be leaders in this sector.”


Engineer Ahmed Al Ballaa, said "Such projects reflect genuine cooperation between the university and the industry, and National Aquaculture Group is honored to have such opportunity to collaborate with King Abdul Aziz University," and added: "since the starting years we have taken upon the responsibility for developing the aquaculture industry to become an area of significant influence that serves the nation and citizens, young Saudis in particular, through creation of multiple employment opportunities.”


It is worth mentioning that since its inception the National Aquaculture Group is cooperating with academic organizations, because they are fully aware of how important academic education and scientific research are. As a pioneer in aquaculture industry in the Saudi Arabia, National Aquaculture Group always believe that the development of Saudi talents is key for the success and long term sustainability of the industry.


In a related context, Al Ballaa clarified that the partnership between National Shrimp Company and King Abdul Aziz University comes in line with the direction of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, which calls for close cooperation between the public and private sectors, and enhance the quality of the partnership between academic education and practical experience in the Saudi Arabia. He was quoted saying, “This cooperation will enable us to continue in developing our operations and taking into considerations that our company is one of the largest integrated aquaculture companies in the world it gives students at King Abdulaziz University opportunities to see the latest technology on aquaculture.


It is important to mention that aquaculture industry has seen remarkable developments during the past few years after the government action to strategically develop this sector. Recent studies about aquaculture industry show that more than 400 thousand job opportunity will be available by 2029 in all regions of the Saudi Arabia. Due to this factor we are racing against time and trying to equip our students to fill the present vacancies in the near future. The collaboration between the University and National Aquaculture Group will continue to play pivotal roles in encouraging students to study Science subjects and in particular, Marine Sciences.


The development and expansion of the fish farm of the Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, will contribute significantly towards developing the aquaculture industry which will support the Saudi economy in a very effective manner. Recent studies relating to the future of aquaculture in Saudi Arabia confirms that this sector would play an active role in this field, where it is expected to become one of the main pillars of the Saudi economy in the near future. The research recently conducted by the King Abdulaziz University focused on the latest developments attributable to aquaculture, especially the effect of salinity, diet, and temperature on the growth and evolution of the color of the white shrimp.


As part of its commitment to the university and the local community, National Aquaculture Group will continue to support with future development and expansion of the Marine Science College R&D facilities, provide technical expertise, and provides invaluable input into the development of curriculum and career development.


This cooperation between King Abdul Aziz University and National Aquaculture Group is the fruitful outcome of the success of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2006, by Dr. Osama Tayyib being the representative of the University, and Sheikh Suleiman Al Rajhi, on behalf of National Aquaculture Group. The initial objectives to develop aquaculture sector and further find ways for cooperation between the two parties for the training of the national workforce remains valid and being pursued relentlessly. The final result will be the localization of the industry and thereby providing multiple career opportunities for citizens and a contributor to the economy of the country.