Departmental Reports


Rwanda National Fish Culture Project


Nathanael, H., J. Moehl

Date: 1989

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: rwanda, aquaculture, international, development

Category: International Country Report

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This report documents 5 years of involvement in aquacultural

development in the Republic of Rwanda by Auburn University's

International Center for Aquaculture. From May 1983 through

February 1988 the Center provided technical assistance to the

Rwanda National Fish Culture Project (PPN) which was jointly

funded by the Government of Rwanda and USAlD.

PPN has demonstrated conclusively that fish culture in higher.

cooler altitudes with limited inputs is technically sound,

feasible, and socially acceptable. Few aquacultural development

efforts on the African Continent have had similar success.

Earlier aquacultural projects did not develop production systems

appropriate to Rwandan climate and needs. In 1982, several

thousand private fishponds were in operation, as well as

government facilities. However, there were few trained technicians,

little functional infrastructure, and no agreement on an effective

technological package appropriate for Rwandan conditions.

Pressure on limited agricultural resources demanded that this

be improved.

The goal of the PPN was to develop profitable fish culture

Project initiatives included training personnel, improving

and facilities, developing an appropriate technological

package, and strengthening the extension program to deliver the

technology to farmers.

During the 5 years of the project, aquacultural production in

the targeted area increased by 425 percent. At these increased

production levels, profitable harvests were obtained by farmers using

previously underutilized inputs. A relatively cold tolerant flsh

(Tilapia nilotica, Egyptian strain) was introduced and pond

practices recommended which were suited to the environment

and available resources. The extension program was upgraded

and redirected to better meet the requirements for

extending fish culture technology to farmers and focused on

that could easily be adopted by farmers.

Acceptable fish growth was obtained from ponds at elevations

up to 2,200 m if nutrient inputs were adequate. When nutrients

were applied as recommended and water properly managed,

of 20-25 kg per are per year were obtained by fish farmers.

The management technology generated a farm enterprise with a

41 percent internal rate of return, while the increased cost to

government compared to the production increase presented a 27

percent internal rate of return.

Under the project, 1,061 fishponds were renovated and 661 new

ponds were built. Fifty-five extension agents, eight regional

supervisors, and six fish station managers were trained. The

National Fish Culture Center benefited from new installations,

better equipping it for training and demonstrations. Six regional

stations were renovated and four stations fully equipped and

with offices, storerooms, and fish holding facilities.

The project established integration of aquaculture and

that efficiently
used limited resources to maximize output.

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