As our population screams on upward towards 2 billion, Africa hosts the fastest growing population of any continent. Currently, one in 6 people live in Africa whereas by 2050 this will increase to every fourth person on the planet being an African! This growth rate is staggering and translates directly to a huge increase in demand for food. As fish is a staple food item across the continent, the requirement for reliable supplies of fish continues to increase. The capacity of wild sources of fish has been reached, or even exceeded in many instances, so the increase in demand will have to come exclusively from the farming of fish.
Aquaculture also holds several advantages over fishing in that you can plan production to meet growing demand; you can account for seasonality; you are not dependant on the weather; you can supply products at the optimal size according to market demand; you can produce a consistent product of a predictably high quality and you can produce fish consistently throughout the year. Clearly the case for fish farming is strong, but what are the risks and what facilitation is required to enable us to maximise the opportunity at our fingertips?
Aquaculture is both capital and skills intensive; as such, it would be unwise to under-invest and later find you have inadequate capital to attain profitability. Equally, venturing into aquaculture without appropriate technical knowledge, experience and support is also naïve. Governments have a role to play by creating an enabling environment to promote the growth of the industry through making funds available for fish farming; promoting investment in the industry through tax holidays and incentive grants; making the relevant regulations clear, simple and easy to follow, and doing away with all obstructive bureaucracy; supporting commercially focussed, practical training programs; and by promoting research into aspects
relating to the enhancement of the commercial sector from production, through processing to marketing. Across the continent there are three primary limitations to growing the aquaculture industry, these being access to: quality feed, quality fingerlings and real commercial skills. All three components are available, what we need is for governments to support the investment by companies who seek to position themselves to assist with growing the industry. These businesses can serve as catalysts to grow spin off businesses around the core investment, either as an organic process or through the deliberate structuring of the central farm to support such associated developments.The opportunity is massive and growing, let’s work together to make it happen, let’s work towards the point where by 2050 one in four fish produced worldwide is farmed in Africa.
We have scheduled the following Aquaculture Courses planned for 2019:
11 & 12 February Aquaponics Course, Pretoria
13 – 15 February Aquaculture Course, Pretoria
25 February – 1 March Practical Aquaculture Course, Aquaculture Academy, Grahamstown – This is an excellent opportunity to obtain both the theory of fish farming as well as practical experience in spawning tilapia and catfish, feeding correctly, managing water quality, sorting fish, aquaponics plant care and many other related skills.
11 – 14 March Aquaculture & Aquaponics Course, Kampala, Uganda
1 – 4 April Aquaculture & Aquaponics Course, Accra, Ghana
20 – 23 May Aquaculture & Aquaponics Course, Solwezi, Zambia
To obtain further information email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.