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3.1 Extension services in the region
3.2 Training of extension agents
3.3 Seed production facilities in the region
3.4 Manufacturers of feed and fertilizers in the region
3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry
3.6 Other services for the industry
3.7 Local credit programmes
3.8 Trade publications for producers
3.9 Technical assistance in the sub-sector

3.1 Extension services in the region

Fisheries extension has been recognized as a vital link between the scientific community and the local fish farmers for many years. Internally, the governments of most of the countries within the region have worked diligently to expand and improve the network of field staff to assist the industry. External help has also been provided through various international development groups. In almost every instance the federal government provides the framework for the extension services. The capabilities vary greatly from country to country.

Thailand has one of the larger extension services in the region. The Department of Fisheries is the lead agency, providing approximately 100 trained extension specialists.

In Singapore the Primary Production Department of the Government has two fisheries stations which provide both technical training for farmers and extension services. The Changi Fisheries Complex focuses on marine species, primarily cage culture of grouper and sea bass. The Sembawang Field Station emphasizes freshwater culture.

There are eight Central Fisheries Research Institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which have as their primary function research and technology transfer through training courses and extension services to farmers. They are widely distributed throughout the country.

In Indonesia aquaculture extension services are provided jointly at the regional and provincial levels and are under the responsibility of the Agency for Agricultural Education, Training and Extension (AAETE) and the Directorate General for Fisheries. In 1988, there were 839 aquaculture extension workers. Each province has at least one aquaculture specialist assigned to a group of field extension workers. In addition, there are two aquaculture demonstration centres focusing on fresh and brackishwater culture.

In Pakistan the four provincial Directorates of Fisheries are responsible for extension as well as a variety of other support activities. Other countries in the region similarly have established extension programmes as follows: Bangladesh through the Directorate of Fisheries; Sri Lanka through the Inland Division of the Ministry of Fisheries, and the Division of Fisheries Development in Nepal.

Aquaculture extension in Malaysia is a major support service provided by the Department of Fisheries through the Extension Branch, with its headquarters located at the Department's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, and its field personnel stationed at State and District levels in various parts of the country. Extension services provided to the target group include technical advice and assistance covering all aspects of aquaculture, including site selection, project planning and implementation, and in the supply of fish seeds and other requirements.

3.2 Training of extension agents

Training of manpower at the local level for extension and technology transfer is a priority with many international agencies such as FAO, which provides training courses at vocational and postgraduate levels through many of its in-country and regional aquaculture and fishery projects. The IDRC, Commonwealth Secretariat, CIDA, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and other donor agencies also provide fellowships to aquaculture staff in the region to participate in specialized training programmes.

In addition several of the national governments in the region have taken an active involvement in providing training from their extension officers. The Government of Indonesia through the Department of Fisheries has established 5 Fisheries Development Centres which provide training for extension agents. Two of them are focused on coastal aquaculture. Through AAETE under the Ministry of Agriculture, there are several training institutions including a fishery academy, 3 junior and 4 senior fisheries high schools, 3 adult training centres and fisheries departments within six universities. All extension specialists are graduates of colleges and universities.

In Sri Lanka information on latest technologies is disseminated to fishery field officers and field extension agents through short-term training courses, documentary films, seminars, etc. Refresher courses are also organized.

A number of regional organizations provide opportunities in specialized aquaculture practices. The SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) at Tigbauan in the Philippines trains national and international extension agents in various production methods and techniques, such as shrimp hatchery and culture operations, and freshwater fish farming, among others. SEAFDEC-AQD also offers trainers' training courses for extension workers, and there are some private non-stock, non-profit corporations, some with foreign funding, which provide extension training services. Since 1974 SEAFDEC-AQD has trained some 6 776 participants in various national (5 471), international (1 074) non-degree programmes, and international (231) degree programmes. The ASEAN/FAO/UNDP Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project organizes training activities for fisheries extension workers. In 1988, for example, the project sponsored training courses on fisheries extension methodology in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) provides short-term international training for aquaculture extension workers. On return to their respective countries, these trainees are expected to transfer the technologies through in-country programmes to other extension workers who, in turn, conduct on-site sessions for the fish farmers.

Transfer of aquaculture technology and training of field workers in their own countries, is also effected under the NACA programme of inter-country exchange of expertise. National experts assist other lead centres as well as other countries by visiting and training technicians and field workers on site. Since 1981 NACA has organized some 15 international training courses for specialized aquaculture practices with over 350 participants. Although the majority of participants have been from countries in Asia (19) and the Pacific (7), some have come from countries in Africa (12) and Latin America (7), and from Europe (1).

A database for fisheries and aquaculture training opportunities has been established by ICLARM/FAO at the ICLARM offices in the Philippines. Currently the database lists 316 long- and short-term courses in fisheries and aquaculture world-wide. More than half (54%) of the 110 institutions listed under Asia offer formal institutionalized programmes in aquaculture, of these 76% grant degrees. Short courses, mostly on aquaculture, are offered by 49 institutions. In the West Asia region these include: Burma (1), India (6), Indonesia (6), Malaysia (6), Nepal (1), Pakistan (1), Singapore (1), Sri Lanka (2), and Thailand (4). In the East Asia region these are: Brunei (1), China (6), Hong Kong (1), Japan (1), Republic of Korea (2), Philippines (8), and Taiwan PC (2).

3.3 Seed production facilities in the region

Along with growth of aquaculture in the region has been the development of fish seed hatcheries by both the public and private sectors. Through these producers, quality seed of a wide variety of species is made available. However, it is reported that supplies of commercially important species have not kept pace with demand and the supply of seed in the region is a major hindrance to large-scale fisheries development programmes. One of the reasons may be financial, as it is reported that many government-owned seed hatcheries, such as in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan sell to farmers at subsidized rates.

One of the countries with a well established hatchery network is Bangladesh. Over 200 fish seed farms reportedly are in operation by both the public and private sectors. In 1986, carp hatcheries produced 2 452 million fry. The ADB is also financing the construction of a Macrobrachium hatchery.

Nepal has two Government-owned carp hatcheries producing over 10 million fingerlings annually. The 13 fishery development stations in the country apparently have seed production capability as well.

In Malaysia there are 30 marine shrimp hatcheries, producing about 400 million fry annually. Hatchery production of Macrobrachium fry is about 20-25 million juveniles per year. The breeding centres and hatcheries operated by the Department of Fisheries provide seed of the common carp, common silver carp, tilapia, catfish, and the giant sea perch.

In Pakistan there are six existing hatcheries with an annual production of 14 million fingerlings. By 1988 new hatcheries are expected to be completed which will increase capacity to 25 million annually.

In Thailand marine shrimp farming has gained considerable importance. However, 98% of the farmers must rely upon wild stocks which are seasonal and inconsistent. In 1984, it was reported that the Government-operated shrimp hatcheries which produced 17 million Penaeus monodon post-larvae. The estimated demand at that time was 180 million. In 1988 there were 5 internationally-funded aid projects in Thailand which included seed production components - primarily for freshwater fish and Macrobrachium. The Government has been producing sea bass fry for over 40 years. Annual production is over 30 million fry. The Government's role is minor (less than 10% of production in 1984) compared with the private sector for Macrobrachium. There were 100 private hatcheries in 1984 producing 200 million post-larvae.

Seed of Chinese and Indian carps are produced in 13 government breeding stations in Sri Lanka. In 1986 over 9 million carp fingerlings were produced for stocking purposes. Marine shrimp seed are produced by four private hatcheries and two government stations. An ADB-funded shrimp hatchery, with an annual capacity of 24 million post-larvae, will soon be completed and put into production.

In 1985 Indonesia had 724 government and private hatcheries for freshwater species such as common carp, Java carp, giant gouramy, tilapias, and catfishes. There were 93 marine shrimp hatcheries operating in 1985, and by 1987 the hatcheries produced around 1 400 million fry annually. The production was around 25% of the potential of the hatcheries in 1987. The freshwater hatcheries, by 1987, produced about 5 000 million fish fry for stocking. By 1988 shrimp hatcheries had increased to 101, with a capacity of 3 037 million fry.

In India 14 modern hatcheries are being developed in 5 states through the Inland Fisheries Project Programmes. These are designed to produce 150 million fish seed annually. Several hatcheries have been constructed by the private sector, as well, during the last 5 years. These include corporate investments such as Tata Oil Co. (Tomco), Tata Iron and Steel Company (TSSCO), and Hidustan Levers.

Also in the region are the following reports of fishery stations with seed production capabilities: Burma (22), Malaysia (14), Singapore (2), and Sri Lanka (17). CIDA is sponsoring development of a carp hatchery programme in Sri Lanka as well.

In Singapore there are three commercial marine/brackishwater hatcheries operating: one specializes in sea bass fry and the other two in marine prawn (Penaeid) fry.

3.4 Manufacturers of feed and fertilizers in the region

In October 1988 the AustAsia Aquaculture Magazine published a 1988/89 Trade Directory for producers and suppliers of goods and services in the Australasia, Indo-Pacific, and South-East Asian regions. The Directory lists live products (breeders, juveniles, eggs, etc.), farm equipment, feedstuffs, additives, services and consultants, sources of aquaculture information, technical organizations, research centres, etc., with complete contact addresses.

Shortages of feed and fertilizers are apparent throughout the region. In 1986 FAO reported two feed mills producing shrimp feeds in Thailand. There are a number of current research programmes on nutrition and formulations of diets for carp, shrimp, tilapia, and Macrobrachium. However, data on actual production capacity are not available.

3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry

Information on availability and recent technological developments in equipment design is not readily accessible in the region, other than at major libraries and governmental centres. The AustAsia Aquaculture Trade Directory is a good source of information (see 3.4). In the rural areas, where fish production occurs, the high level of illiteracy makes access to information difficult except through direct contact between the farmers and manufacturers' representatives and sales people. Conventions and trade shows which attract foreign as well as domestic manufacturers of equipment and supplies for the industry are not as common in this region as they are in other parts of the world. When they do occur, many are at an international level and are not perceived as being accessible by the average fish farmer - particularly those who have received little formal education and operate on a small scale.

3.6 Other services for the industry

The AustAsia Aquaculture Trade Directory is a good source of information. Consulting services in the region are available in such areas as water quality, engineering, and disease diagnostics. The majority of available consultants are not specifically trained in aquaculture, but have skills which are applicable, such as architecture, engineering, surveying, etc. In addition to consultants in the private sector, staff of various research organizations and universities provide specialized services to the industry. The internationally-financed development programmes in the region are the largest single source of specialized consultants as the majority of these projects include expatriate specialists in a variety of fields.

The Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC) in Bangladesh provides specialized services in that country relating to promotion and commercial aspects of aquaculture products. In Singapore the Primary Production Department provides disease diagnostic and advisory services to fish and shrimp farmers.

3.7 Local credit programmes

Typical of the aquaculture industry in many places in the world, credit for capital improvements and operations is often difficult to obtain in the region. There are four major avenues for accessing credit when it is available; normal lending channels of commercial banks, special programmes established by the government, internationally-financed project linked lines of credit, and non-institutional private lenders.

Institutional lending in the form of long-term credit for aquaculture projects through commercial banks is often lacking as a result of the perception that aquaculture is a poor credit risk. This is often due to the inadequacy of trained staff at the financial institutions to assess projects. Two of the countries where the banks have had considerable experience in lending to fish farm projects are Bangladesh and India. There is approximately a 20-year history in India of providing credit for all aspects of the aquaculture industry including seed production, enhancement schemes, pond construction, etc. Over 2 000 projects have been financed at a cost of I.Rs. 2 138 million. Terms are determined on the basis of the activity and expected revenues. NABARD provides 75-90% of the credit to this sector. Funds for commercial lending in India have been made available through the IDA and NABARD Credit programmes. In Bangladesh, the Krishi Bank is the main source of commercial credit. A maximum of 70% of total project cost is eligible at terms in the range of 4 years at 16% interest.

An example of a government directed programme is the Special Agricultural Credit Scheme set up by the Government of Bangladesh in 1977. Through the Bangladesh Bank, it has provided short-term working capital for aquaculture, including pond rehabilitation, and the purchase of seed, feed, and fertilizers. The Government guarantees the loans. The terms are 5 years with an 18-month grace period and annual interest rate of 16%. This programme has assisted local banks in becoming familiar with the industry and, as a result, one local bank, the Agrani Bank, has allocated some of its own financial resources to support aquaculture.

The major sources of credit in the region are from external sources, primarily international lending agencies. For example, the ADB has provided funds to the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan for the development of four fishery projects and one aquaculture project. More specifically, the ADB has provided loans to Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, for shrimp farming programmes. Another example of the linked line of credit programme is the IFAD Fish Tank Rehabilitation Project in Bangladesh which, in 1980, financed the rehabilitation of 625 ha of fish ponds at an interest rate of 13% repayable over a 10-year period.

In addition to institutional credit, informal credit is also available in the region from the traditional village money lenders as well as fish wholesalers, traders, and merchants in the form of advances against future production and as mortgages on real property. Indonesia and Pakistan both have many examples of such forms of short-term financing. In Indonesia it is reported that only non-institutional credit is available.

It is not known how many countries other than India provide subsidies for construction of infrastructure and purchase of equipment and inputs for aquaculture.

3.8 Trade publications for producers

There are several publications which provide information on topics of interest to fish producers and industry participants on a local level. In addition, regional and international publications frequently contain articles and data pertinent to the producers. The local publications are often more timely and directly applicable to local production situations in addition to being far more easily accessible to the average producer. India reports eight such publications ranging from fishery extension pamphlets published by NABARD to "Indian Sea Foods", which addresses marketing related issues. Thailand publishes the IPFC Newsletter for its local industry.

At a regional level the major publications of interest which contain practical information for farmers include both regular and special publications from SEAFDEC and ICLARM in the Philippines, and NACA in Thailand. In addition to providing information on recent development in technology, these publications include useful information on the levels of aquaculture development in neighbouring countries and regions, market information, and notices on courses and meetings of interest.

International trade papers and magazines obtainable by subscription are AustAsia Aquaculture Magazine (Australia), Aquaculture Magazine (USA), Aquaculture Digest (USA), Fish Farming International (UK), and Fish Farmer (UK). The Quarterly Newsletter of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) in Belgium contains relevant information for producers at times and is obtainable through membership of the Society (see 4.6).

There are three Trade Directories of aquaculture products which are published at regular intervals. One is available through subscription to Aquaculture Magazine (USA), another through the EAS (Belgium), and the third available from AustAsia Aquaculture Magazine.

3.9 Technical assistance in the sub-sector

There are 52 technical assistance projects financed by international aid groups in the region. While many of these are research-oriented, their aim is to provide practical information and infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the local aquaculture industry. The breakdown of projects by country is as follows: Bangladesh 5, Burma 1, India 7, Indonesia 12, Malaysia 3, Nepal 3, Pakistan 3, Sri Lanka 7, and Thailand 11.

Some of the most active agencies providing technical assistance in the region through project sponsorship and technical support are: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) (Thailand), Asian and Pacific Development Centre (Japan), the Asian Development Bank (Philippines), FAO, International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (Philippines), International Development Research Centre (Canada), US Agency for International Development (USA), Indo-Pacific Fisheries Commission (Thailand), and Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (Thailand).

NACA is a UNDP/FAO regional project which provides assistance in training of fisheries technicians and field workers from 12 member countries in the region. The four lead centres established under this project (China, India, Philippines, and Thailand) conduct regular long- and short-term training courses for fisheries personnel and extension agents. Bilateral agencies and organizations such as IDRC (Canada) finance many participants of the courses. As an adjunct to this project UNDP is financing a number of marine farming demonstration centres.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)/FAO/UNDP Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project, jointly funded by ASEAN and UNDP and executed by FAO, is also a regional project which includes among its components the provision of training courses for fisheries extension personnel from the different member countries.

Through SEAFDEC-AQD various multilateral and bilateral agencies provide assistance for training fisheries and aquaculture extension workers from various countries in West Asia. SEAFDEC itself sponsors study tours for extension agents to different countries to observe various aquaculture methods and extension techniques.

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