GUINEA: FISH FARMING INCREASES FOOD SECURITY
Sector in need of external support
The Government of Guinea considers the development of the fish farming subsector a priority, especially in terms of its potential to improve food security and reduce rural poverty. Although the Government had launched a number of infrastructure and training initiatives,it realized that the complexity of developing fish farming requires external support, in particular with regard to introducing modern and sustainable fish-farming techniques.
The ‘nitty gritty’s’ of fish farming
A TCP project totalling US$300 000 was launched in 2001 to support the introduction of fish farming to potential fish farmers and technicians. The project provided on-site training in pond construction and management, as well as in fingerling production and fish harvesting and conservation. When the project closed in 2003, 34 newly trained fish farmers had set up 50 production ponds in 14 different villages. The project has led to an annual production of 5.1 tonnes of fish per hectare, generating an average daily family income of US$5, demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of smallholder rural fish farming without credit facilities. The project has also contributed to the formulation of a master plan for the fish-farming sub-sector.
Toward sustainable fisheries
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has established a special management structure to follow up on project activities both at the Ministry and in the project areas. It also allocates a regular budget each year to continue supporting project activities. Farmers have continued the activities, some of them investing additional resources to expand ponds or create additional ones. A group of about ten fish farmers are acting as trainers, and helping with technology transfer and in sharing experience and fish farming equipment.Farmers as far away as 25 km from the pilot area have begun to undertake fish farming activities.