By: Staff / Aquaculture Magazine
The Government of Zanzibar in partnership with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched an aquaculture project that will run for three years. The initiative will see the development of a marine hatchery, leading to positive economic and food security outcomes.
In a message read on his behalf at the launch, Hamad Rashid Mohamed, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries, said the investment reflected the strong partnership between the Government, KOICA, and FAO. “Today’s event clearly shows how our partnership has grown stronger over the last years and how mariculture sector development has become an increasingly important policy objective of this Government,” said Mohamed.
The Minister added that small-scale farming households were responsible for almost the entire aquaculture production in the island thus providing the local population with an affordable source of protein. This he said was a clear indicator of the crucial role small-scale aquaculture played and its potential to scale up. He also noted that while it created jobs for farmers - thereby increasing income – it also utilized land and water resources more rationally.
The immediate objective of the project is to support the construction and operation of a marine multi-species hatchery in Zanzibar and offer support to aquaculture farmers in Zanzibar. The operational hatchery will cost-effectively provide milkfish, crab and sea cucumber seed for grow-out farmers and other profitable aqua-farmers.
Mr. Shinyoung Pyeon, Deputy Country Director for KOICA Tanzania, lauded the cooperation in the development of this project. “In 2012, KOICA undertook a feasibility study on mariculture in Zanzibar. The results showed high demand for marine products in Zanzibar but also identified challenges. We hope this project will have a significant impact in boosting the economic growth and food security of Zanzibar,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Patrick Otto, the acting FAO Representative in Tanzania, noted that the project was designed in a way that guaranteed sustainability. “Given the need for an eventual uptake of aquaculture by more entrepreneurs and for the hatchery to be driven by the needs of industry and key stakeholders, the project has incorporated an exit strategy that will ensure sustainability,” said Otto.
The plan, Otto said, included the establishment of a project board to advise and provide the strategic direction for the hatchery. The board will also promote activities to encourage the private sector participation and investment in the development of the sub-sector. The board will also engage government in mariculture related activities.
On the other side of the continent, the FAO in collaboration with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other partners will launch an Aquaculture Project valued at US $492,000 in early July. The initiative is an effort to address the challenges and constraints of youth unemployment – cited as the reason the Government of Liberia requested technical support from the FAO.
The Technical Cooperation Project, titled: “Creating Aquaculture Enterprise for Youth Employment, Poverty Reduction and Food Security,” is meant to build the capacity of 600 vulnerable youths in aquaculture development in Margibi, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties. The project is aligned with the FAO’s Strategy Objectives 2, 3, and 4, focusing on rural development. It is also aligned with the United Nations Development Framework (UNDF) Pillar II: (Sustainable Economic Transformation), while at the same time contributing to the FAO’s Country Program Framework (CPF) for sustainable agriculture development.
In late June, 40 youths from across Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties benefitted from a ten-day aquaculture training seminar on the provision of economic development through youth employment, entrepreneurship, and improved nutrition and poverty reduction. The seminar was a follow up to a prior seminar conducted from June 13th to 23rd. The objective of these training sessions is to develop small business management skills, gender wealth creation opportunities, and develop the potentials of young people for sustainable aquaculture entrepreneurship.
Participants of the seminar are expected to acquire improved methods of fish farming and hatchery management techniques, and better business development strategies. A training guide which was developed at the end of the first session will be used as a reference tool for youth aquaculture throughout Liberia.