14. Fish-farming in sub-Saharan Africa: case studies in the francophone countries - proposals for future action.
AGRIDOC Inst. BDPA SCETAGRI, 27 Rue Louis Vicat 75738, Paris cedex 15, France; ISBN 2 11-086732-9; price 120 ff
Fish farming is a long-standing and traditional activity in Asia, but it is relatively new to Africa, arriving only in the last half century or so. Its potential has yet to be developed: the annual tonnage of fish, approximately 10,000 t, accounts for only 0.1% of world production. But the increasing demand for fish, especially in urban areas, means that there is likely to be a boom in aquaculture.
African fish-farming can be classified into several categories. At the lowest end of the scale is "family" aquaculture: the peasant farmer will dig out a pond by hand, with the help of family members, to rear tilapia for his domestic consumption only. This practice is common in many francophone African countries and often receives considerable aid from international organizations or NGOs for the breeding of young fish, extension and training work, personnel, etc. However, the results are universally disappointing, the farmers are not motivated, yields are low and incomes poor.
The second category is small-scale commercial aquaculture, which is beginning to be a significant factor, especially close to cities. The difference between this and family fish-farming is that it is essentially business concern which necessitates buying in materials and marketing the produce. For this reason fish-farmers establish their businesses close to town in order to make use of the urban infrastructure and the marketing potential. FAO has developed a project of this type in C_te d'Ivoire, in the Bouak_ and Daloa regions. About 50 farmers have dug out their own ponds and now breed their own young stock and rear them with the help of the project staff. Research has shown that it is these small or medium-scale ventures which seem to have the best chance of succeeding.
The characteristic of the third category, 'network' aquaculture, is that its different stages (hatcheries, fish-feed processing, fish production) are separated.
This system is well-suited to some areas, for example where there are lakes, lagoons or water courses. The lagoons of Côte d'Ivoire have rearing projects in enclosures and cages, and Niger has set up cage culture schemes in the river. It particularly suits some sectors of the population - for example it can provide an alternative living for fishermen when their traditional sources of income are insufficient, and city businessmen are able to invest capital in the hope of significant returns. However, further research into the ideal environment for fisch-rearing and into improving feed is still necessary.
The final category - 'industrial', large-scale aquaculture - is carried out in sizeable production units. It depends on high productivity and, for example, raceways, tanks or cages, which demand considerable capital outlay. Burkina Faso set up the Banfora Aquaculture project of intensive-system fish production with cages and raceways, but hatchery and feed problems forced it to close down in 1986. An industrial fish farm in Brazzaville (Congo) forecast tilapia production of 500 tonnes per annum in concrete raceways using water pumped up from the nearby river. This enterprise was also bedevilled by numerous technical problems which slowed production, and financial results were well down on the forecasts. At present this type of fish culture is extremely problematic in that the cost of production is still considerably higher than the sale price.
All these categories of fish-farming are surveyed in this report, which has just been published by the French Ministry of Cooperation. It analyses the current state-of-the-art and suggests some future directions. Particularly useful are the many case studies used to support the theories put forward by the authors, and the analysis of socio-economic factors, especially the market study comparing farmed and wild fish. Also described in this book is 30 years' experience of experimental research done in the field. It addresses the problems of the training need to improve the technical and professional skills of African aquaculturalists.
1083 92 - 3/133
Review, book, tropics, integrated crop-livestock-fish farming, concept, research framework, education, institutional framework, ICLARM, UNDP
EDWARDS, P. et al.
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