Departmental Reports


Review of Aquaculture Development Activities in Central and West Africa


Grover, John, D. Street and P. Starr

Date: 1980

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: west africa, zaire, cameroon, nigeria, liberia, aquaculture, fisheries, development, international

Category: International Country Report

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1. To the question,
“Is aquaculture development an

appropriate AID
activity in Central and West Africa" the

answer is yes. Aquaculture
has the potential to more fully utilize

available land and
water resources and subsequently provide

both food and
income for rural village dwellers. Aquaculture

generally has no
conflict with other agricultural practices and

can be integrated
with animal and plant production efforts. AID

support should not
focus on large-scale or highly intensive fish

production systems,
but rather on small-scale efforts that can be

maintained at low
cost with a minimum of dependence on

outside support.

2. This region of Africa
does not have a tradition of

aquaculture and few
local people are trained in practical fish

production methods.
Development efforts should recognize the

need for more
trained people at the hands-on level and for the

generation of more
practical result-demonstration experience. It

is upon such
efforts that careful economic feasibility studies and

extension programs
should be based.

3. Fish culture development
efforts should start with a careful

inventory of land, water, climate, and other

resources to assess
each areas suitability and availability for fish

culture. If
resources are adequate and a firm commitment is

apparent on the
part of the host government, then small

centers should be developed where techniques

can be tested and
out of which extension programs can start.

These centers
should be located where prospects for success are

best and may
involve rehabilitation of existing facilities. Each

center could have 30-100
small ponds where adaptive yield

could be conducted. There should be modest

but functional
laboratory and training facilities associated with

each center. All experimental
endeavors should be directed toward

accountability at both the micro and macro

levels. The macro
level recognizes social opportunity costs in the

countries. Support for the centers needs to be long

term. But with
adequate review procedures to ensure practical

application of the work
program. It is more important to have a

small, properly
funded and operational center than to have a

thinly spread but
less effective national program. Preferably, a

fish culture development
center would be integrated with other

rural development
projects or agricultural experiment station


4. AID is in a good
position to add complementary support to

existing programs
receiving help from FAO, Peace Corps, and

other donors.
Continued cooperative participation with other

agencies is to be
encouraged for aquaculture support. AID can

provide training
funds, skilled technical assistance, equipment.

or even capital for
infrastructure development that might not be

available from
host-country resources or other donor programs.

5. Aquaculture
development efforts should be integrated

with appropriate health
education programs that will

emphasize the role
of fish in family nutrition and the need for

appropriate sanitary practices to
control schistosomiasis.

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