Departmental Reports


Proceedings of the Third Conference on the Culture of Tilapias at High Elevations in Africa


Veverica, K. and E. Rurangwa

Date: 1997

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: rwanda, tilapia, aquaculture, high elevation, international, development, zaire

Category: International Funded Research Report

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This was the third
conference of its kind to be held for

Rwanda. Burundi and
Kivu province in the east part

of Zaire. High elevation
was understood to be

greater than 1,000
meters. During the conference, country reports were

presented describing the extension service and providing technical data

following a list of
points included in the conference invitation.

Technical papers on
rice-fish culture and extension strategy were presented

from Burundi. Papers
on rabbit-fish culture, composting

regimes. elevation-related
tilapia production and tilapia- clarias polyculture

were presented from
Rwanda. Kivu province presented a paper

on the Zaire Peace
Corps fish culture sustainable extension service.

Attendees included
ministry personnel, university professors, FAO personnel, university
students, Peace Corps volunteers, station managers,

model farmers,
extension and training specialists, and some


The organization
and operation of the extension services in

all three countries
were compared. Fish culture extension has been

assured mainly by Peace
Corps volunteers in Zaire, with very few

Zairian counterparts
on hand. In Rwanda, although some Peace Corps

volunteer s have recently
commenced activities in fish culture.

Rwandese extension
agents are responsible for all fish culture extension.

Burundi is in the midst
of re-vamping its fish culture extension

service. It previously
relied on Peace Corps volunteers but now has

funding to train
its own extension agents. However, Burundi presently

has a freeze on
hiring for government jobs and has opted to use extension

agents already working
in other domains such as forestry. A very

lively discussion of
the advantages and disadvantages of each country's

extension service
took place. All three countries have active

farmer training programs.

Fish culture techniques
adapted to the climatic and social

conditions of the high-elevation
zones are: a longer growing cycle,

use of larger fingerlings
for stocking ponds, and smaller pond size.

Oreochromis niloticus remain the fish of
choice, given the lack of

success to station-produced
fingerlings and the low quality inputs

available. Burundi reports
higher yields from ponds below 1,300

meters, compared to
those over 1,300 meters, but net yields do not

seem to steadily decrease
with elevation above 1300 m in any of the

countries. However,
""best production"" is much greater in the lower

elevation zones.
Size of fish at harvest is somewhat greater, and

amount of reproduction
is less as elevation increases. Pond management

and input level still
seem to be the most important factors to

increasing pond productivity.

Recommendations made
by the group of participants and a

table of comparative data by country are

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