Promoting Semi-Industrial Aquaculture by Dr. N. Isyagi Auburn University Contacts: Aquaculture Management Consultants Ltd. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org FAO Conference on Rice and Aquaculture, 14-17th April, 2009
The major objective of promoting semi-industrial agriculture is to: Adopt more productive modes of aquaculture so as to ensure sustainable profitable enterprises for farmers as well as provide alternative avenues for gainful employment in rural areas.
This is because: • Farmers main objective for fish farming is to earn an income. There are no more subsistence farmers. Farmers need cash for school fees, medical care, food. • Increased Populations => Smaller land holdings, higher value attached to land, markets - demand for food (fish inclusive) has gone up. • Gainful employment => Inadequate rural employment, off-farm jobs, rural-urban migration.
With the changes in economies, low-input low-output production systems are failing to meet farmers farming objective – significant income. Now land is costed; costs of pond construction from farmers savings which have to be recovered; literally no more free grants or subsidies to farmer as in the past.
FARMS SHOULD BE VIABLE AND ABLE TO RUN INDEPENDENTLY IF THE OBJECTIVE IS TO BRING PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY, THEN WHATEVER THEY ENGAGE IN MUST BE PROFITABLE AS WELL AS SUSTAINABLE SEE TABLES
Promoting non-productive and non-profitable systems implies farmers keep sinking in resources that would have otherwise resulted in better benefits on the farm, making them progressively poorer.
For example: Based on estimated annual production • A well tended orange tree occupies about 4 m2 surface area, requires about 20-30 kg of cow manure per year, yields about 500 oranges, (average price USH 100/=) => annual earnings = USH 50,000/=. • A low-input low-out tilapia system on manure only for the same surface area will yield 0.5 kg of fish, requires about 128 kg cow manure during the production cycle + 8 months, (average price USH 3,000/= per kg) => annual earnings = USH 1,500/=. It is also more costly to construct a pond (not just in cash terms) than it is to clear a field to plant oranges.
While semi-industrial aquaculture offers the opportunity for increased productivity and earnings; Inputs and their costs are also likely to increase. However, the systems employed need not necessarily be flashy and costly. If anything, the flashy and costly systems are not always profitable. APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY MATCHED TO SUIT FARMERS LOCAL RESOURCE AND MARKET CONSTRAINTS CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE. The simpler, the better
Aeration Equipment Blowers from 1hp – powered electricity from grid or generator 12V DC blowers – can be powered by solar, car battery D Cell powered air pumps Local Innovation: Old tyre tube – no power. Farmers at training
However, some things need to be in place for semi-industrial aquaculture beyond just the farm. Takes on a Sectoral approach
The systems should be relevant, productive, dynamic and versatile. Sustainable aquaculture … … ‘an adaptable aquaculture production technology system whose ecological and economic viability persists indefinitely’.
Figure 1: Illustrates the Basic Concept and Principles for Commercial Aquaculture
This implies farmers should be equipped with a higher level of practical knowledge and skills that enables them adapt their systems to their local circumstances
This means other than just fish production, semi-industrial aquaculture helps open up possibilities of employment in direct and indirect aquaculture service provision, both at a larger scale and artisanal level ……
For example • Input suppliers • Net makers and menders • Fabricators – cage frames, scoop net frames, etc. • Equipment maintenance • Fish marketing and processing • Feed making • Equipment hire • Seining and sampling services, • Financial services, etc
Cage making with personnel from UFM Imported and locally fabricated demand feeders used in cage culture Fish grader for used in hatchery made from kitchen basket and floats from PVC pipe
Locally fabricated industrial scoop nets Locally made collapsible water tanks with frame that can dismantle for temporary holding and live fish sales2020 ‘Lift’ Knot & ring Double lip