Nearly 60 extension books, pamphlets, fliers, brochures, etc. were reviewed. Each is briefly summarized below, in chronological order, either by country when produced there or in a general category when produced elsewhere but used in at least one of the countries.. These extension tools were of two general types: those aimed directly at farmers and those aimed more at extension agents. Both tend to be technical in nature attempting to generalize aquaculture technology according to the perceived needs of policy-makers and researchers.
In addition, some extension tools are not printed, but take the form of radio or television programmes. A number of radio and television stations carry agricultural messages, including aquaculture. We were not able to review these, but they were mentioned as important tools in the country reviews and can be used to effectively convey a variety of technical and non-technical messages.
Chakroff, M. 1976. Freshwater fish pond culture and management. Volunteers in Technical Assistance, Manual 36E, Washington, DC. 191 p.
General aquaculture with line illustrations. Aimed at extension agents and educated farmers. The text covers most technical aspects of rural fish farming and management. Used by US Peace Corps.
FAO & US Peace Corps. 1978. Simon élève des poissons/Simon grows fish. Guide de vulgarisation piscicole en Afrique/Guide to fish culture extension in Africa. Bangui, Central African Republic. 50 p.
A nicely illustrated, bilingual (French/English) guide on fish farming. Accessible to the small-scale fish farmer. Focus on rural tilapia farming, with compost and low-density stocking. Out of print.
FAO. 1978. Freshwater fish farming: how to begin. Better Farming Series, (27): 43 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1981. Water: where it comes from. Better Farming Series, (28): 31 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1981. Better freshwater fish farming: the pond. Better Farming Series, (29): 43 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1981.Better Freshwater fish farming: the fish. Better Farming Series, (30): 48 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1986. Better freshwater fish farming: further improvement. Better Farming Series, (35): 61 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1990. Better freshwater fish farming: raising fish in pens and cages. Better Farming Series, (38): 83 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1980. La pisciculture en eau douce: comment débuter. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (27): 43 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1983. L'eau: D'où vient l'eau. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (28): 31 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1984a. La pisciculture en eau douce: l'étang. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (29): 44 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1984b. La pisciculture en eau douce: les poissons. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (30): 48 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1987. La pisciculture en eau douce: amélioration de l'exploitation. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (35): 61 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
FAO. 1990. La pisciculture en eau douce: l'élevage des poissons dans des enclos et des cages. Série FAO: apprentissage agricole, (38): 83 p. FAO, Rome, Italy.
The FAO Better Farming Series are very well illustrated handbooks for extension agents and educated farmers. Topics covered include pond construction, harvesting, detailed information on water sources, pond site selection (topography, soil, water), water inlet and drainage systems, how soil type can influence water quality, compost, water fertilization, fish handling, fish reproduction, stocking density, pest control, etc. for tropical, earthen pond aquaculture.
Martel, J., N. Narakas & M. Banza. 1984. Comment élever le Tilapia nilotica. Projet Pisciculture familiale, Département de lAgriculture et du Développement Rural du Zaïre/USAID/Corps de la Paix. 62 p.
An illustrated handbook with easy to understand technical advice on how to raise Nile tilapia. Very similar to Simon élève des poissons used in Cameroon. General information on integrated aquaculture-agriculture.
Mutale, J.C., H.W. van der Mheen, J. van der Mheen-Sluijer & C.N.Kanoso. 1991. How to construct your fish pond. ALCOM Extension Pamphlets, (1): 32 p. Aquaculture for Local Community Development Programme FAO INT/436/SWE, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mutale, J.C., H.W. van der Mheen, J. van der Mheen-Sluijer & C.N.Kanoso. 1991. How to feed your fish. ALCOM Extension Pamphlets, (2): 39 p. Aquaculture for Local Community Development Programme FAO INT/436/SWE, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mutale, J.C., H.W. van der Mheen, J. van der Mheen-Sluijer & C.N.Kanoso. 1991. How to take care of your fish pond. ALCOM Extension Pamphlets, (3): 19 p. Aquaculture for Local Community Development Programme FAO INT/436/SWE, Harare, Zimbabwe
Theses three bilingual pamphlets (English and Swahili), well illustrated, are designed for the typical African farmer. They respectively focus on pond construction, fish feeding, and routine care to the pond.
Satia, B.P.N. 1980. Principes élémentaires de pisciculture. Tomes 1 à 3. Ministère de lElevage, des Pêches et des Industries Animales, Direction des Pêches. Yaoundé, Cameroun. Mimeo, 200 p.
A practical course on fish farming in three A4-booklets, includes general information on fish farming and technical information from pond construction to harvesting. Focus is on semi-intensive pond farming of the four main cultivated species in Cameroon: Oreochromis niloticus, Clarias gariepinus, Cyprinus carpio and Heterotis niloticus. The content, in French, is dense and detailed, more designed for graduate students (A-level plus one to three years) than for fish farmers.
CIFOR. 1994. Vers une pisciculture intégrée. Centre International de Formation en Milieu Rural, Bafoussam, Cameroun. 45 p.
An easy to use booklet on integrated fish farming. The booklet covers different aspects of earthen pond fish farming of the usual species. The reliability of the information delivered is average. Improvement is needed, basically on the quality of the drawings.
Breine, J.J. 1995. A guide to fish farming. CONTACT Hors série N°6, Centres Nationaux de Formation Zootechnique et Vétérinaire du Cameroun et l'Administration Générale Belge de la Coopération au Développement. 46 p.
An illustrated guide to fish farming, produced for a Belgium-Cameroonian research project (1991-1995) and used at the government aquaculture training centre. Graduate technician level. Also available in French. Out of print.
Pouomogne, V. 1997a. Fiche technique sur la Pisciculture en étang. Deuxième édition révisée et augmentée. Unité de recherche piscicole IRAD Foumban/Service d'appui aux initiatives locales pour le développement (SAILD), Yaoundé, Cameroun. 16 p.
Technical information on tropical pond fish farming. Aimed at farmers. Partially reproduced in the Farmer Technical Bulletin edited by SAILD (local NGO). This document lacks illustrations.
Pouomogne, V. 1997b. Fiche technique sur la fertilisation organique des étangs. Projet FAC/CDI 95/CD/095 Développement de l'activité piscicole à Yemessoa. Centre dexcellence pour la production, linnovation et le développement (CEPID)/IRAD Foumban, Cameroun. 19 p.
Practical information on pond fertilization in tropical fish farming, The document covers different aspects of water management including liming, use of compost, manures to indirectly feed fish, how to integrate with poultry or pigs, etc. Few illustrations; graduate technician level.
Peace Corps. 1998. Pisciculture intensive camerounaise (PIC). US Peace Corps-Direction des Pêches, Ministère de lElevage, des Pêches et des Industries Animales, Yaoundé, Cameroun. 119 p.
A fish farmer handbook, usable by educated farmer leaders trained by the Peace Corps in Cameroon from 1990 to 2000. This document repeats all the information available in Simon élève des poissons (see above). It gives more advanced information for a better-educated fish farmer ending with a detailed list of addresses of all governmental services and NGOs capable of providing funding or help to the farmer in Cameroon in 1998. The document also tackles how to create a common initiative group and to use it as a tool for group development.
Pouomogne V. 1998. Pisciculture en milieu tropical africain: comment produire du poisson à coût modéré (exemples du Cameroun). Coopération Française/CEPID. Presses Universitaires dAfrique, Yaoundé, Cameroun. 236 p.
This is a handbook providing current information on semi-intensive fish farming in Cameroon. An easy to use document, mainly by graduate level readers and educated fish farmers who are willing to pay for information.
Pouomogne V. 2002. Guide technique pour la production de poisson deau douce en étang. FAO Special Programme on Food Security/Institut de recherche agricole pour le développement, Foumban, Cameroun. 21 p.
This is revision of Pouomogne, 1997a with more illustrations. Designed for extension agents.
La pisciculture progressive (Progressive fish culture). A very convenient newspaper entirely committed to fish farming, produced in 1993-1995.
SAILD. La voix du paysan (The farmers voice). Monthly; in French and English. This newspaper focuses on all matters of the rural development. It regularly publishes technical and economic data on fish farming and on the marketing of fish in Cameroon.
FAO. Kouadio élève des poissons: comment Kouadio a retrouvé la joie de vivre au village. Projet FAO-UNDP IVC/84/001 en collaboration avec la Direction de la Pisciculture et des Pêches, Ministère du Développement Rural, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
This is a set of 49 slides telling the story of a young man (Kouadio) who decides to raise fish after meeting an aquaculture extension worker and visiting a fish farm. Only the comments booklet attached to the film was available for review. An interesting tool to captivate potential farmers to be interested in fish farming providing a slide projector is available.
Anonyme. Le calendrier de la pisciculture scolaire. Ministère du Développement Rural, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. 7 p.
This is an illustrated school calendar, presenting a timetable of fish farming activities (from stocking to harvesting and selling the fish). Aimed at school children. Illustrated with cartoons and includes a ready-to-fill form for data recording. In French.
Nugent, C., G. Wambongo & J. Ban Gueu. La pisciculture rurale en images, No. 4: Petit poisson deviendra grand. Projet FAO-UNDP IVC/84/001 en collaboration avec la Direction de la Pisciculture et des Pêches, Ministère du Développement Rural, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
A set of 74 slides, about a young boy (Bato) who caught one fingerling after a fishing party. Bato decided to put the fish back into water (in a big hole he dug) and to feed it every day for several months. Following his example, his school mates decide to raise fish too. The students dig ponds and produce many fish under the supervision of an aquaculture extension agent. Only the comments booklet was reviewed. Part of a series of four filmstrips.
INADES-Formation. 1993. Guide du Pisciculteur: conduite d'une exploitation piscicole. Projet de Développement de la pisciculture en milieu rural. Institut africain pour le développement économique et social: Centre africain de formation, Cocody-Abidjan, Côte dIvoire. 48 p.
General information presented in an easy to understand way for farmers. Very well illustrated. The book specifically shows how to construct ponds and raise fish, with a focus on economic management and accounting.
FAO. 1979. Ufugaji wa samaki katika maji matamu (Yasiyo na chumvi). (Fish Culture in freshwaters in Swahili).
General rural fish farming from site selection to pond construction, management and harvesting in one of the major languages of Kenya. Not sent for review.
INADES-Formation. 1982a. Fish farming manual (72 p.) and INADES-Formation. 1982b. Ufugali wa samaki (Swahili), 76 p. The African Institute for Economic and Social Development, African Training Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
Nicely illustrated texts giving additional information on fish farming as an agro-business, focusing on economic aspects and record keeping. Similar to the French version used in Côte dIvoire (see above).
Murnyak, D. & M. Murnyak. 1990 (English) and 2000 (Swahili). An elementary guide to fish farming in Kenya. Kenya Fisheries Department, Nairobi. 50 p.
Similar to the Agrodok Series from CTA, this is a very well illustrated manual (pictures and drawing) providing general technical information on warm and cold freshwater aquaculture and on marine fish farming in Kenya. It is designed for use by aquaculture technicians and advanced farmers.
Campbell, D., S. Obuya & M. Spoo. 1995. A simple method for small-scale propagation of Clarias gariepinus in Western Kenya. LBDA/FAO Support to Small-Scale Rural Aquaculture in Western Kenya. Project FAO TCP/KEN/4551. Field Document No.2. FAO, Kisumu, Kenya. 27 p.
This report focuses on small-scale production of catfish fingerlings using semi-artificial techniques and minimal equipment and facilities. Designed more as a research report than an extension guide, it is of limited use to extension and farmers.
FAO. 1995a. The problems encountered and recommendations for the operation of revolving credit funds for small-scale fish farmers. Field document No.2. Project FAO KEN/86/027. FAO, Kisumu, Kenya. 37 p.
This document reports on the experience gained from an aquaculture credit project. Bankers and donors engaged in rural development will learn interesting things such as: extension agents should not be at all involved in credit repayment, and credit should be given only to internally cohesive groups (neighbours, traditional friends or religious brethren, etc.) of 6-10 members.
FAO. 1995b. The impact of the field-day extension approach on the development of fish farming in selected areas in Western Kenya. Field document. Project FAO TCP/KEN/4551. FAO, Kisumu, Kenya. 26 p.
The document focuses on the impact of field-days on development of fish farming. It stresses field-days as a cheap way to train farmers and stimulate farmer-to-farmer exchange of information. An interesting document for planning and policy-makers.
van Eer, A., T. van Schie & A.D. Hilbrands. 1996. Small-scale freshwater fish farming. Agrodok 15, Agromisa/Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), Wageningen, The Netherlands. 74 p.
Hilbrands, A.D. & H.C.A. Ijzerman. 1998. On-farm fish culture. Agrodok 21. Agromisa/Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), Wageningen, The Netherlands. 67 p.
More recent guidelines on pond construction and management for the basic culture species. Topics include: site selection, pond construction, natural fish food, rice-cum-fish-culture and pond fertilization. More accessible to technicians than to typical fish farmers, they are a little less illustrated than documents from INADES-formation (see above).
Anonyme. 1989. Bande dessinée «Rizipisciculture» sur les hautes terres malgaches. «Mamokara trondro». Project UNDP/FAO MAG/88/005. FAO, Madagascar. 17p.
This document is presented in the form of a typical cartoon. It tells the story of a rice farmer, who decides to rear fish in his rice field. His neighbour, M. Radera, introduces him to the local extension technician, Paul, who provides the necessary advice to be successful with his project. M. Manantsoa, a nearby private fingerling producer provides the necessary common carp fingerlings.
Lardinois, P. & J. Janssen, 1990. Première partie. Etude de faisabilité dune station privée de production dalevins de carpe. Etude fictive. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG 88/005. Document technique no. 1. FAO, Madagascar. 37 p.
Lardinois, P. & J. Janssen, 1992. Deuxième partie. Etude de faisabilité dune station privée de production dalevins de carpe. Etude réelle. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG 88/005. Document technique no. 2. FAO, Madagascar. 50 p.
This is a feasibility study for a private fingerling production station in Madagascar. In a very detailed and exhaustive presentation, the authors go over the importance of market studies, technical set up, management design, and financial analysis. Aimed at commercial investors.
Anonyme. 1993a. Manuel sur la boîte à images Rizipisciculture: amélioration de la technique rizipiscicole. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/88/005. Document technique no. 7. FAO, Madagascar. 19 p.
Anonyme. 1993b. Manuel sur la boîte à images Pisciculture: amélioration de la technique piscicole. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/88/005. Document technique no. 8. FAO, Madagascar. 22 p.
These are how-to guides in the form of 30x40 cm drawings illustrating how a malagasy family could improve their standards of living by following step by step technical directions for fish farming in rice fields (a) or in ponds (b). These booklets are very detailed but understandable for most any literate reader. However, they are primarily designed to assist extension technicians to efficiently communicate with farmers about improved fish farming techniques.
Anonyme. 1993c. Intégration de lactivité piscicole dans les systèmes de production chez quelques producteurs privés dalevins dans les régions du Vakinankaratra et du Betsileo. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/88/005. Document techique no. 11. FAO, Madagascar. 63 p.
This is a socio-economic study analysing the main features of a typical fingerling producer in Madagascar. He is a healthier fellow comparatively to other farmers, more open minded and ready to benevolently serve his neighbours. Often, these people have experience in other regions of the country and have made money on other enterprises, returning to his/her native region with capital and conviction. The study thus concludes that in the context of aquaculture extension and development in Madagascar, fingerling production should be focused on motivated farmers who show a willingness to share knowledge and a strong desire to improve their standard of living.
Avalle, O. 1991. Manuel pratique pour l'élevage de Penaeus monodon en bassin. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/88/006. Rapport de terrain no. 9. FAO, Madagascar. 52 p.
Avalle, O. & R. Randriantomponiony. 1994. Manuel décloserie. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/88/006. FAO, Madagascar. 43 p.
These technical documents provides practical information on production of shrimp in ponds and post larvae in a modern hatchery. Details are given on semi-intensive earthen pond management as well as on hatchery fresh and marine water management, maturation, spawning of breeders, egg collection, incubation, hatching, larval rearing, nursing, artemia and algae production units. Aimed at educated shrimp farm and hatchery managers.
Rakotomanantsoa, S. & J. Jansen. 1994. Manuel sur les diaporamas rizipisciculture et pisciculture: amélioration des techniques rizipiscicoles. Programme sectoriel pêche. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/92/004. Document technique no.1. FAO, Madagascar. 24 p.
This booklet is presented in the same way as the «Boîte à images» (see above), synthesising fish farming in rice fields and in ponds. Three farmers are involved in the story: M. Radera, a successful farmer in applying improved methods, M. Rakoto, a farmer discouraged by poor results from his traditionally managed ponds and M. Manantsoa, a private fingerling producer. The document is aimed at fish farmers and is designed to illustrate the advantages of new technology.
van den Berg, F. & J. Janssen. 1994. Manuel pour le développement de la rizipisciculture à Madagascar, Tome 2: marketing et gestion financière dune micro-entreprise de production dalevins en milieu rural. Programme sectoriel pêche. Projet UNDP/FAO MAG/92/004. FAO, Madagascar. 88 p.
The document, simple, concise and well illustrated, exposes on marketing, passive and active extension, sales campaigns, communication techniques and efficient use of audio-visual materials, farm management and accounting. Aimed primarily at private hatchery operators, the language used is simple and at the level of any average 0-level reader. The document could also be of interest to farmers, extension technicians, and could even serve as a tool for broader training at the regional level.
FAO, 1987a. Manual for fish farming production units in schools. FAO Technical Cooperation Programme. FAO, Lusaka, Zambia. 21 p.
The book presents general knowledge on pond construction and integrated tilapia farming (Oreochromis andersonii) with ducks, pigs or chickens. Interesting data are made available in the book, but important detail is lacking.
FAO. 1987b. Integrated fish farming in Zambia. FAO Technical Cooperation Programme in Zambia. FAO, Lusaka, Zambia. 7 p.
A set of 46 slides focusing on fish-cum-duck farming. Only the comments booklet attached to the film was available. An interesting tool designed for emerging fish farmers.
FAO, 1991. Fish farming in Zambia: training programme for agriculture extension officers. Guidelines. FAO Technical Cooperation Programme. FAO, Lusaka. 39 p.
A set of six chapters providing general knowledge on fish farming, from pond construction to farm economics. Designed for graduate technicians. Similar to the FAO technical series.
NORAD 1995. Guidelines of basic fish culture extension services in Northern Province of Zambia. Northern Province Fish Culture Development Project. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, Lusaka. 62 p.
Flipcharts and posters on fish farming to be used by serious extension agents to better communicate with serious professional fish farmers. The document is of high pedagogic quality and may serve as a reference, whatever the extension approach adopted.
Peace Corps. 1998. How to raise Tilapia nilotica: a guide to fish farming in rural areas. Zambia Aquaculture Project & Peace Corps, Lusaka, Zambia. 100 p.
A book providing detailed information on fish farming. Presented in a pedagogic way, with review questions at the end of each chapter. An interesting tool for educated farmers desiring practical knowledge on the subject. Similar to Martel et al. (1984) used in Côte dIvoire, but with fewer illustrations.
WWF. 1999. Fish conservation: a teachers reference book. Zambia Education Project Document. World Wide Fund for Nature, Lusaka, Zambia. 36 p.
The book presents general information on fish biology, pond fish farming and sustainable methods of capturing fish from the wild. The document is designed for lecture to lower level college students. Below average quality; too general for actual fish farmers.
Many of the documents reviewed have been in use for many years and are widely available throughout Africa. Most of these are technical documents aimed primarily at extension agents, acknowledging the generally low quality of training and support provided to aquaculture extension in Africa. The best of these are produced by international agencies, particularly those generated by the series of UNDP/FAO projects in Madagascar and by FAO headquarters in Rome. Other examples of high quality tools are those produced by INADES-Formation, the Agromisa/CTA Agridok Series and the NORAD project in Zambia.
To include farmers in the target audiences, efforts have been made to incorporate good pictures, posters, videos, slides and films in the repertoire of extension tools. However, these are expensive and sometimes rely on technological infrastructure (e.g. slide projectors), limiting their usefulness in rural Africa. In addition, international projects are often the only initiatives with sufficient financial resources to produce such tools and when projects end, little or no effort is made to continue to update or disseminate them.
That so many aquaculture projects have identified the inappropriateness of existing (general) tools for their particular target farmers reflects the high levels of variability among farmers that render highly generalized approaches of limited use: sometimes good at encouraging adoption, but poor at guiding problem-solving adaptation of technology.
Technical documents that attempt to describe how a system will perform under particular circumstances, tend to rely on technology packages that extension agents and farmers attempt to memorize. These packages describe experiment station results conducted under idealized conditions, so farmers must expect results that differ significantly from the package. Small-scale farmers, particularly in rain-fed areas, are accustomed to variability but they also expect their extension agents to be able to interpret this variability and give specific answers for a specific situation. Farmers have this kind of ability, gained through years of practical experience. This sort of knowledge is, however, very difficult to write down succinctly and is almost never available to extension agents with limited field experience.
Another type of general extension manual does not deal with technology at all, but rather focuses on the process of doing extension. If these guides take local cultural mores and the motivation of farmers into consideration, then they can be more broadly useful than the technical bulletins. However, these how-to manuals generally fail to deal with the basic problem faced by extension: farmers want specific answers to specific questions and these questions are usually technical in nature, involving quantitative phrases such as How much? How long? How big? In the absence of an extension service that incorporates the knowledge gained through experiential learning over the course of extensive field experience, these types of questions are very difficult to answer and cannot be derived from even the longest and most participatory discussion if no one in the group has ever weighed a fish.
Our review of the available extension documents in five countries has revealed a large gap: specific technical documentation that can take into account the large variation among farmers in terms of land, soil, water and human capacity. We imagine that such a document could only be usefully produced at a very local level.
A more general approach might be to combine the technical and process approaches into a process of guided experiential technical learning, such as the participatory research systems currently being tested in Cameroon and Côte dIvoire. Such an approach combines the generalized process approach to adapt generalized technology to specific situations. In effect, a guide to the process of gathering the needed technical data to answer farmers' questions.