Thursday, June 22, 2017

23/06/2017: Aquaculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

by Professor Abdel-Fattah M. El-Sayed, Oceanography Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Egypt

Aquafeed production has almost doubled in five years but new legislation, VAT reduction and training services are needed

Aquaculture in Africa has been marginalised, with limited contribution to national economies and to global aquaculture output as well. In 2015, total African aquaculture production mounted to 1,969,261 tonnes, representing only 1.9 percent of global aquaculture production. 


Egypt is by far the most important producer, with a contribution of 60 percent to total African production. Egypt, Nigeria, Zanzibar and Uganda produced 90 percent, while the remaining 60 African countries contributed 10 percent to total aquaculture production in 2015.

Tilapia carps and African catfish are the major cultured species in Africa. Aquaculture in Africa is hampered by many limitations and difficulties, including unavailability of raw materials and quality feeds, limited quality seed supply, lack of culture inputs, lack of technical and management skills, lack of funds and lack of legal and regulatory frameworks.

Despite this grim picture, encouraging signs of significant take-up of the aquaculture sector in Africa have emerged in recent years, particularly in the Sub-Saharan (SSA) region. The aquaculture production of SSA has almost doubled over the past five years.

The WAS’17 meeting in South Africa, for the first time in Africa, is probably a recognition of this reality. This would also pinpoint that the potential of aquaculture in Africa is great. Despite this, feed represents over 60 percent of the total production cost of fish farms and the aquafeed industry remains one of the least developed subsectors of aquaculture in Africa, especially in SSA region.

The vast majority of fish farms in Africa rely on farm-made feeds, fed in moist or sun-dried form. This is mainly because small-scale commercial farmers cannot afford manufactured pelleted feeds. Farm-made feed formulations range from single feed ingredients such as wheat bran, rice bran or ground corn, to formulated mixes, moist feed cakes and processed, dry pellets.

Estimates suggest that over 100,000 tonnes of farm-made aqua feeds are currently produced annually in SSA alone. Farm-made feed production varies by country and season, depending on availability and price of ingredients and the culture system adopted.

Farm-made feeds in Africa are generally of poor quality, high content of fines, high price and inconsistent production rate. They lead to considerable reduction in storage time and the acceleration of spoilage and overall low fish performance.

Read the full article, HERE.

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