Monday, September 21, 2015

21/09/2015: Aquaculture in Ghana #2 - A case study: Commercial floating feeds for pond culture of tilapia in Ghana

The impact of the adaption of best management practices on social welfare
First published
in International Aquafeed, July August 2015

In this article, the research of Dr Yaw B Ansah and Dr Emmanuel A Frimpong on the effectiveness of BMPs on the aquaculture industry, specifically the production of tilapia in Ghana will be shared. Dr Ansah received his PhD from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation as well as an MSc in Agricultural and Applied Economics, both from Virginia Tech (USA). Dr Frimpong is an associate professor at Virginia Tech, he studies fish biology and aquaculture and supervised Dr Ansah’s dissertation.

Classified by the World Bank in 2014 as a ‘lower middle income’ country, Ghana has an economy largely dependent on agriculture. The agricultural sector contributes 23 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually, whereas 42 percent of the population was employed in the agricultural sector in 2013. Ghana’s 2.3 percent annual population growth rate requires a sustained increase in food production.

The country has increased food production per capita by more than 80 percent since the early 1980s, and is largely self-sufficient in staple crops such as maize, cassava, plantain, and yam. In 2011 the Overseas Development Institute forecasted that Ghana will meet the United Nation (UN)’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. However, it is important to go beyond meeting this goal of ‘food quantity’ to target ‘food quality’, both of which are components of food security.
Ghana is one of the countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region with the potential to dramatically increase its fish production through aquaculture. This is the result of a high fish demand, and the combination of a stable political environment and the commissioning of the only commercial fish feed mill in West Africa. The country derives a majority of its dietary protein from fish, with an estimated per capita fish consumption of 20–30 kg per annum in 2009, higher than the global estimate of about 18 kg.

The global aquaculture industry has been blamed widely for its negative impacts on natural aquatic ecosystems. Pond effluents are relatively dilute, and as such not amenable to conventional treatment technologies. Aquaculture management practices affect the volume of water, nutrient, solids, and oxygen demand loading rates from ponds to effluent-receiving water bodies. Generally, these practices are grouped into nutrient management and effluent management.

In 2014 Frimpong et al showed the effect of two best management practices (BMPs) on the growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and their effectiveness at preventing the transport of nutrients and solids from fishponds to water bodies in Ghana. Specifically, these two BMPs were the use of commercial floating feeds and pond water reuse. That study showed that reused pond water resulted in the same growth rates as the usual practice of draining and refilling pond with new water before stocking. This result was in contrast to the widely held belief among pond fish farmers in the sub-Saharan Africa region that reusing water from a previous cycle could harm cultured fish.    

Read the rest of the article in International Aquafeed HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

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