Aquaculture Investments for Poverty Reduction in the Volta Basin: Creating Opportunities for Low-Inc...
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COUNTRIES: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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COUNTRIES: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo

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Aquaculture Investments for Poverty Reduction in the Volta Basin: Creating Opportunities for Low-Income African Fish Farmers through Improved Management of Tilapia Genetic ResourcesFAO Regional Workshop on Rice and Aquaculture for Productivity Increase and Market Development in East AfricaKampala, Uganda13 – 17 April, 2009 D.J.A. SACKEY AND HANNAH NYAMEKYE

  • COUNTRIES: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo


  • DONOR: Spain

  • GOVERNMENT AGENCY: Agencia Espanola de Cooperación Internacional

  • DURATION: 3 years

  • STARTING DATE: 1 December 2007

  • Executive Summary

    This sub-regional project aims to reduce poverty and hunger in rural communities of the Volta Basin while improving economic growth in an environmentally friendly manner through the provision of genetically improved Nile tilapia to small and medium sized fish farms.

  • While many African capture fisheries have been exploited to their maximum, African demand for fish has grown with expanding and increasingly urban populations. Fish supplies have not kept pace with population and African’s currently consume an average of 7.7 kg/person-year down from a peak of over 9 kg, in the early 1980’s. Fish are especially important in the diets of the poor, accounting for over 30% of animal protein intake.

  • In Ghana, this value is nearly 60%. To meet demand, African countries currently import about 4.2 million tons of fishery products at a net loss of $3 thousand million. Despite these imports and expenditures, there remains a 1.3 million ton shortfall in supply.

  • This situation provides an opportunity for African fish farmers. African aquaculture has made significant gains in the use of modern production techniques and by following good aquaculture practices. This success has encouraged new investors, and opened up the possibility that aquaculture could make important contributions to regional food security and economic growth.

  • To fully realize this potential and maximize positive impacts on poverty alleviation, opportunities are needed for the large number of lower-income investors seeking to enter the aquaculture sector.

  • However, the expanded development of aquaculture is constrained by a large number of subsistence fish farmers and few investors in sustainable aquaculture businesses combined with a lack of human and financial resources. These problems are exacerbated by a lack of good quality seed, i.e. genetically improved strains.

  • Many African aquaculturists have developed capacity for successful commercial operations, including the ability to successfully and responsibly use genetically improved seed. National aquaculture development strategies are being developed and are being supported by improved national and international assistance.

  • Genetically improved strains and increased capacity in good farming practices could appreciably shorten production cycles, improve the efficiency of utilisation of inputs and increase profits. However, in general, the use of genetically improved strains that have contributed so much to increased production in the crop and livestock sectors is still under-developed in the aquaculture sector in Africa.

  • The Volta Basin, which includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo, is an area that has both developed and developing aquaculture sectors. Countries in the basin are actively promoting aquaculture development and supporting the identification of, and access to genetically improved culture organisms.

  • The area also includes numerous wetlands and Ramsar sites that contain important native aquatic biodiversity that should be conserved and protected from adverse impacts of aquaculture development.

  • This sub-regional project will support the countries of the Volta Basin in developing responsible policies and practices for using genetically improved strains of Nile tilapia in small and medium size enterprises (SME’s) in the area. The expected outcome will be the development of capacity to manage aquatic genetic resources for sustainable use and conservation in the Volta Basin.

  • The outputs to achieve this outcome will be: i) improved strains of Nile tilapia available to SMEs in the area; ii) a dissemination system for improved seed of Nile tilapia; iii) fish farmers from national breeding centers, and from small and medium sized fish farms trained in broodstock management, business management and good aquaculture practices;

  • iv) established farming zones where improved strains of Nile tilapia can be responsibly farmed; v) the genetic resources of local tilapia species and genetically improved strains of Nile tilapia characterized and their distribution mapped; vi) conservation plan including identification of conservation zones to protect wild aquatic resources established; vii) regional plan to develop improved Nile tilapia strainsimprove and to disseminate improved seed agreed; viii) policies and strategies for the responsible use and conservation of tilapia genetic resources established.

  • The project will interact with fisheries, aquaculture and environmental agencies, and the private sector within the Basin. It will be implemented through improvement of capacity at government fish hatcheries, improvement of private fish hatcheries, a series of training courses, and field missions to important wetlands within the Volta Basin.

  • An International Fisheries/Aquaculture Center of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research will be a key partner with relevant experience in the sub-region on genetic improvement of Nile tilapia. Additional partnerships will be developed with local and international NGO’s.

  • To help guide and coordinate the project, a Steering Committee will be established, comprised of national focal points, International Center staff, FAO Regional and Rome-based staff, and other partners as required.

  • The primary beneficiaries are people involved with small and medium-scale aquaculture throughout the value chain who will benefit from increased economic opportunity. Whereas the majority of fish farm laborers are often male, there is a growing number of females involved directly in aquaculture production and as processors, marketers and consumers.

  • Women will therefore benefit from increased production, but will also be key recipients of training and capacity building in order for them to promote the objectives  of the project. Low-income fish consumers will also benefit from increased availability of fish protein resulting from the development of small and medium-scale aquaculture?

  • Communities dependent on or appreciative of valuable wild populations of Nile tilapia will benefit through appropriate zoning of valuable wetlands.

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