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Côte d'Ivoire poised to strengthen sustainable tilapia production

FISH4ACP will support tilapia value chain to improve food security, stimulate growth and create jobs

21 January 2021, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire – FISH4ACP, an innovative new programme investing in fisheries and aquaculture value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, was launched today in Côte d'Ivoire with the goal of accelerating sustainable growth in the West African nation’s tilapia industry.

"Aquaculture is at the heart of our efforts," said Côte d'Ivoire’s Minister for Animal and Fisheries Resources, Moussa Dosso, speaking at an event marking the start of FISH4ACP’s activities in the country, adding: “Tilapia is an affordable and secure source of animal protein, and by developing the tilapia value chain we can generate jobs and provide income opportunities for rural populations.”

Launched in 2020, FISH4ACP is a five-year programme with a mandate to tackle some of the underlying challenges to make fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific more sustainable and stimulate inclusive growth, bolster food security and minimize impacts on the marine environment.

“The European Union attaches great importance to all dimensions of sustainability, even more now that it is promoting the Green Deal,” said Stéphane Brossard, head of Inclusive Sustainable Growth at the EU Delegation in Côte d’Ivoire. “It is the responsibility of all actors across the value chain to make this programme a success.”

“FISH4ACP champions a new, comprehensive value chain approach to the development of fisheries and aquaculture that takes into account all players, at all stages - from net to plate,” said Samy Gaiji, FAO’s Representative in Côte d'Ivoire. “This innovative approach will boost economic returns and social equity, and reduce negative impacts on the marine environment in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Tilapia is the main fish species farmed in Côte d'Ivoire with an annual production of some 3 200 tonnes. But national demand for fish of 650 000 tonnes per year far outweighs domestic production of about 110 000 tonnes, with 4 500 tonnes coming from aquaculture, making Côte d’Ivoire heavily reliant on fish imports.

FISH4ACP aims to improve the efficiency of domestic production of tilapia and increase its productivity, for example by helping to make quality fingerlings and affordable quality feed available. Or by supporting the development of fish processing to add value to a product that is now mostly sold fresh.

The activities of FISH4ACP will be informed by an in-depth analysis of the tilapia value chain that is going to be carried out during its first year. The programme will pay special attention to small and medium-sized businesses, because of their potential to deliver economic and social benefits, particularly for women and youth.

FISH4ACP is an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) aimed at making fisheries and aquaculture value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific more sustainable. It contributes to food and nutrition security, economic prosperity and job creation by ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. FISH4ACP is implemented by FAO and partners with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).