Replication Data for: Increasing fish farm profitability through aquaculture best management practice training in Egypt

Egyptian aquaculture production has grown rapidly to over one million tons per year so that it now provides most of the country’s fish supply.However, Egyptian fish farmers have received little extension advice or training.
An intervention starting in 2012 aimed to address this gap by providing best management practice (BMP) training for pond based tilapia monoculture and tilapia-mullet polyculture fish farmers. A series of field-based training modules were developed and designed with the participation of leading fish farmers and delivered through private sector farmer-trainers to over 2400 fish farm owners and managers. This paper reports on the results of an impact assessment survey carried out in 2015 comparing fish farm performance, production and profitability in randomly selected farms where the manager had received and was applying the principles of BMP training
(BMP) and farms where the manager had not received IE IDEAS project training (control). The results show that although the two groups were very similar in terms of general farm characteristics, BMP farms were more likely to practice tilapia-mullet polyculture than monoculture of tilapia. The main BMP training messages apparent
in the results were improved feed and fertilizer management. This resulted in more efficient food conversion ratios in BMP farms compared to control farms. Average fish yields and values were similar between the two groups, although BMP farms produced less small-sized tilapia and more mullet than the control farms. Lower feed costs resulted in significantly lower operating costs in BMP farms compared to control farms, whereas fixed costs were similar for the two groups. Average net profits were significantly higher in BMP farms compared to control farms equivalent to additional profits of over $15,000 for an average farm size of 7.5 hectares. Taking into account the number of farmers trained and BMP adoption rates suggests that $18.9 million additional profits were generated through the intervention in 2014. The results demonstrate that fish farms in mature aquaculture systems can benefit significantly from the adoption of improved farm management practices suggesting that
similar approaches, including field-based BMP training and the use of private sector farmer-trainers should be used to accelerate the development of nascent aquaculture sectors in other parts of Africa.
Statement of relevance: While it is often assumed that training will benefit fish farmers the true economic benefits have rarely been documented. This research demonstrates clear improvements in the profitability of Egyptian fish farmers following best management practice training.

Assessment of Informal Cross Border Fish Trade in the Southern African Region: A case of Zambia and Malawi

Intra-regional fish trade has potential in addressing the region’s food and nutrition insecurity, as well as poverty reduction, by enabling movement of fish from countries of surplus to those with deficit. However, informal fish trade, just like all informal economic activities, has been overlooked and neglected in many national and regional policies, leading to obscurity of such an important part of the fisheries sector. This study examined the situation in the cross-border informal fish trade to deepen our understanding about the traders, the factors influencing the traders to use informal trade channels, the structure of the products traded and the challenges traders face, as well as propose policy direction to enhance the cross-border fish trade in the Southern Africa region. The study revealed that female traders dominated informal fish trade. In both Malawi and Zambia, an estimated 45,285.52 metric tonnes of fish valued at 82.14 million dollars and 102,263.9 metric tonnes of fish valued at 3.3 million dollars were informally traded. The key species involved in informal cross-border trade in Malawi and Zambia were the small pelagics, usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) from Lake Malawi and dagaa (Rastrineobola argentea) from Lake Tanganyika, respectively. It emerged from focus group discussions with informal fish traders and key informants’ interviews with border post fish inspection and revenue collection officials that traders are put off by the cross-border regulations. Therefore, it is important for countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to regularize and formalize cross-border trade, particularly in small pelagic fish species, since this species plays a great role in the livelihoods, food and nutrition security of many people in the region, especially the rural and urban poor. It is also important for governments to support processors and traders to improve the quality of fish being traded, and decentralize issuing of the import/export certificates and other cross-border support documents. Lastly, there is a need to establish informal fish trade monitoring systems to adequately quantify the volumes traded.

MYCulture Project – Myanmar

In 2015, WorldFish (WF) was funded by LIFT to implement the “Promoting the sustainable growth of aquaculture in Myanmar to improve food security and incomes for communities in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Central Dry Zone” (MYCulture project). The project aims at testing, identifying and scaling up suitable aquaculture technologies for rural stakeholders in the Ayeyarwady Delta (hereafter referred to as Delta) and three regions of the Central Dry Zone (CDZ) (Magway, Sagaing and Mandalay). The MYCulture project targets primarily smallholders who have the potential to “step-up” to become commercial smallholders; it secondarily targets the development of nutrition-sensitive interventions for subsistence farmers.
MYCulture is organized around two phases: a LEARNING phase during which 1,000 farmers will pilot test a combination of low-cost freshwater aquaculture technologies; and a SCALING phase during which promising technologies will be scaled-up over an additional 4,000 farmers. The target beneficiary group thereby includes rural farmers who have an interest in and may be able to participate in small-scale aquaculture (SSA) development in these regions, either in the learning or scaling phases. The project is expected to benefit these 5000 households through improved consumption of nutrient rich foods (fish and vegetables) and/or an increase in income by 10%. An additional 5,000 households are anticipated to indirectly benefit through knowledge sharing of aquaculture production systems by 2018, for a total impact of 10,000 households in the two regions.

Social and gender analysis to inform the design and piloting of gender transformative approaches

There is increasing awareness that integrating gender into development frameworks is critical for effective implementation of development strategies. In working to alleviate rural poverty, the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) recognizes that “business as usual” gender integration approaches will not deliver lasting and widespread improvements in agricultural productivity, poverty reduction and food security. In response, AAS operationalized a gender transformative approach. The approach is informed by conceptual frameworks that explicitly recognize the potent influence of social relations on creating and perpetuating gender inequalities. In this way, AAS aims to address the underlying causes of rural poverty and gender inequality in Zambia’s Barotse Floodplain, where people rely extensively on riverine and wetland ecosystems for food and livelihood security. A central question guiding the research program is “How do social norms and gendered power relations influence agricultural development outcomes?” The findings presented in this report provide insights that help answer this question. The report presents a review of literature relevant to livelihoods, ecosystem services, and gender and social relations in Zambia, with a specific focus on Western Province, where AAS is currently implemented. It also presents a synthesis of findings of a social and gender analysis conducted in 2013 in 10 focal communities situated in and around the Barotse Floodplain.

An on-Farm Performance Assessment of Aquaculture Production Systems in Nigeria

The survey was implemented to assess on-farm performance of
aquaculture fish production systems in Nigeria. The primary
sampling unit was aquaculture farming households/farms. The
survey comprised the following modules: (1) farmer
characteristics; (2) aquaculture production and marketing
activities including input use and cost as well as output harvested
and sold; (3) Aquaculture experience, change and livelihoods; (4)
aquaculture credit and association; (5) food safety and
willingness to participate in aquaculture certification; Data on
aquaculture production were collected at farm level. The survey
captured detailed data about all types of systems and practices
allowing for a characterization of farming systems

Pond polyculture approaches in Luwingu, Zambia

Baseline and end-line data collected following the introduction and implementation of pond polyculture as part of the nutrition-sensitive fish agri-food systems approach to improve food and nutrition security in Luwingu, Northern Province, Zambia.