FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1002

FAO Fisheries Circular No. 1002

FIRI/C1002 (En)


Rome, 2004

Table of Contents

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ISSN 0429-9329

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FAO Fisheries Department, Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service. Aquaculture extension in sub-Saharan Africa. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 1002. Rome, FAO. 55p.


As part of a regional review of aquaculture being undertaken by the Regional Office for Africa (Accra, Ghana) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this document reviews the recent history of aquaculture extension in five representative countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Country reviews were commissioned, analysed and synthesized. A number of extension guides, field manuals and dissemination tools were compared. Each of the reviewed countries has a similar history of aquaculture development, beginning with colonial experiments in the 1950s, through a period of neglect following independence in the 1960s, a period of intense international involvement in small-scale rural development (including aquaculture) in the 1970s and 80s ending in a period of reflection on results in the 1990s. Many of these past projects were driven by foreign donors interested primarily in poverty alleviation and working on the basis of national food security targets, ignoring the desires and constraints faced by would-be producers and beneficiaries. Working within the broader context of rural development, rather than the somewhat simpler world of commercial aquaculture technology has created problems for poorly trained and motivated extension agents. New participatory paradigms have been incorporated into policy and planning, but are generally not reflected in the day-to-day work of either research or extension, leading to low rates of adoption and project sustainability. Extension systems based on the Training and Visit model continue to dominate aquaculture extension in Africa, but more sustainable gains made through participatory approaches are leading more and more governments in the direction of farmer-led approaches. Some countries have moved faster to capitalize on lessons learned than others. Madagascar has made great advances establishing a close working relationship between small-scale farmers and private sector hatcheries. Zambia has profited from a commitment to integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems and participatory approaches. Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya have lagged behind, but report some local successes with the use of participatory research initiatives. Lessons learned from these experiences lead the authors to the conclusion that aquaculture can play a much larger role in economic development if user interests and knowledge are better incorporated into research and extension processes, and if the quality of the extension services can be upgraded to ensure that good technology is made available to users.

© FAO 2004


Preparation of this document


1. Introduction

2. Country reviews

2.1 History of aquaculture development
2.2 Current structure and approach
2.3 Lessons from success

3. Review of extension tools

3.1 General
3.2 Cameroon
3.3 Côte d’Ivoire
3.4 Kenya
3.5 Madagascar
3.6 Zambia
3.7 Analysis and recommendations

4. Conclusions

ANNEXES: Summaries of Country Reviews prepared in 2002

ANNEX 1. Cameroun
ANNEX 2. Côte d’Ivoire
ANNEX 3. Kenya
ANNEX 4. Zambia
ANNEX 5. Madagascar

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