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Tilapia Seed

TiSeed project close out workshop and launch of fish farm tracker app

tiseed

The project “Accelerating aquaculture development in Ghana through sustainable Nile Tilapia seed production and dissemination” [Tilapia Seed Project – TiSeed] was led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The TiSeed project was implemented by a consortium of international and national institutions, being (CSIR-Water Research Institute – CSIR-WRI, Fisheries Commission of Ghana, World Fish, KIT Royal Tropical Institute - Netherlands, and private hatcheries, Crystal Lake Ltd. and S-Hoint Ltd). The project focused on tilapia seed research to investigate challenges in the value chain and provide solutions for sustainable fish production and inclusive aquaculture businesses. 

It was originally a 3-year project (February 2019 – January 2022), but extended to September 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19. It was funded by Netherlands’ Science for Global Development program (NWO-WOTRO) and CGIAR. The total grant was 1.2 million EURO (1.4 million USD), thus, 1 million EURO from Netherlands’ NWO-WOTRO and 197,210 EURO co-funding from IFPRI, WorldFish and CSIR-WRI

Dr. Anthony Y. Karikari, the Deputy Director of CSIR-WRI representing the Director of CSIR-WRI in his opening speech stated that “the TiSeed project was timely, especially during a period when Tilapia seed system had been compromised by the same industry players giving rise to distribution and use of poor-quality fish seed, loss of jobs and threat to food and nutrition security.” He cited that; He had no doubt that the objectives set for the project would be achieved despite the devastating impact of COVID-19, a year after its inception. He congratulated the consortium of partners both local and international for working relentlessly and successfully implementing the project.

In a speech read on behalf of the Executive Director by Mrs. Jennifer Viglo, a Senior Manager at Fisheries Commission, mentioned that, although the project is ending, he (Executive Director) considered it a defining moment in the history of Tilapia farming in Ghana as we herald sustainable production and distribution of tilapia seed for fish farmers. “Tilapia farming is very important in the country as a major supply of fish and a significant source of employment. Although there has been a significant growth in the aquaculture subsector, bottlenecks such as lack of reliable and quality of fish seed for stocking in grow out facility, as well as inadequate technical know-how among the hatchery operators and farmers slow the pace of fish production in the country”. He thanked the team for the excellent work done in increasing technical knowledge and improving the quality and survival of the tilapia seed through promotion and adoption of research findings.

According to Dr. Catherine Ragasa, the project team lead, “in sub-Saharan Africa, the aquaculture sector is relatively small but has seen significant growth over the last two decades albeit with some challenges.”

                                                     fish
                                                               Evolution of Ghana’s aquaculture production over the past 2 decades

Ghana is West-Africa’s top producer of tilapia. Growth in Ghana’s aquaculture sector is being driven mainly by large-scale cage tilapia farming in Lake Volta. Tilapia contributes over 77% of cultured fish production, the second being African catfish at 22%. Unfortunately, participation of, women, and youth in this rapidly growing value chain is verylimited. 

About 95% of active fish farms in all regions of Ghana are pond farms, which are mainly located in rural areas. Many of these rural fish producers are small scale farmers, and use fish farming to supplement other livelihoods and incomes. However, lack of access to quality fish seed, feed, and good management practices result in low productivity and profitability

The Tilapia Seed (TiSeed) project team, observed a critical need to study, understand and strengthen the seed distribution system and test strategies to improve access to quality seed, adoption of good management practices, and productivity and profitability among small scale fish farmers in Ghana.

Mr. Ishmeal Nii Adjei Brown, Director of Research at Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development on behalf of the Minister, launched the Fish Farm Tracker Mobile Application, as an innovative digital solution for general fish farm records keeping, production management, basic fish health and water quality monitoring, business and economic management, real-time online fish marketing, farmer - to - farmer, and farmer - to - client chat platform and extension support service to fish farmers. He stated that it is important to note how research shapes policy. He was of the view that with the development of the app, it shows the full essence of research. He urged all stakeholders and potential users that as the knowledge has been imparted, they should equally share the information.

TiSeed project, therefore, complemented government’s effort to improve productivity and profitability of fish farming, particularly supporting small-scale farmers and youth employment in the sector, through Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) initiative.

In a presentation by Dr. Seth Koranteng Agyakwah, the Ghana Project Coordinator and the lead facilitator for the development of the Fish Farm Tracker mobile application, he enumerated further outcomes of TiSeed project to include training of about 400 farmers (including 62 women and 120 youth) trained on various farm management and good aquaculture practices. Organized a National Aquaculture Farm Certification Protocol dissemination training, Nine (9) MSc students mentored to solve tilapia seed value chain issues, produced 14-episodes TV/Online based documentary-drama serial as an extension mechanism for easy and faster learning, towards enhanced adoption of ‘good’ aquaculture management practices and many more. 

There was a group breakout session to discuss the key policy issues or barriers that constrain the sustainable development of aquaculture in Ghana 

Prof. Francis K.E. Nunoo, the chairman of Fisheries Commission Board, and chair for the program in his closing remarks, stated that through effective collaboration in a multidisciplinary manner, “we will be able to achieve a lot for the socio-economic development of the country.

For more information about the TiSeed project and its impacts, visit:

https://www.ifpri.org/interactive/tilapia

https://www.ifpri.org/interactive/tiseed

https://f.io/CVIkaiGy

Contributors: Sylvia Amponsah, Clarissa Y. Nutsugah, Seth Agyakwah 

Last Updated (Monday, 10 October 2022 13:21)