COMMUNITY FISH FARM

Tilapia Catfish and Carps Farming

By Uri Ben Israel an Aquaqulture expert

Introduction

Fish is the main source of animal protein in Africa, of which tilapia & catfish have been predominant. An ever growing surge in worldwide demand for these two species creates immense opportunities. This is a tremendous business opportunity that can benefit many Africans within a short period.

The Community Farming Initiative

Small scale aquaculture farming (family fish farm) brought more and more attention worldwide. Community farming relies on the family working capacity for daily operation that relying on central powerful data support and supply of inputs.

Small scale aquaculture farming (family fish farm) is bringing more and more attention worldwide. Community farming depends on a family working capacity for daily operation, supply of inputs and powerful central data support.

The initiative will set its production system among families who are living around water sources. Using small modular rearing ponds or any other system (cages concrete ponds etc.), a family could operate a number of cages/ponds according to its available land. Each family will be supported by the center unit that supplies raw material, serves, and purchases fish for processing and marketing.

A management and supporting center will operate the fingerlings hatchery to supply the farmers; feeding center, laboratory, extension service processing plant, cold storage rooms, marketing, distribution, equipment store, credit assistance and other elements for integrating business.

Operating as star and satellites, the operation will involve extensive relations not just between the center unit and families, but with local equipment and feed suppliers, research and extension officers from the ministry of Agriculture and potential customers.

Community Farm in Africa (Cages & Earth ponds)

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Implementation

The initiative design as rolling project, starting an initial pilot, which will involve and support from a few dozen and up to hundreds families, and aim to produce 5,000 t. fish per annum within the first four years.

The initial operation size and development will depend on local conditions and management policy.

Marketing

While part of the families’ production will used for self consumption and selling on the informal markets, most production will sell to the central processing plant and from there to export and to the local market.

Rational & Benefits

National/states Benefits:

  1. The project will supply work and income for more than 800 families that are involved in fish farming and approximately 600 workers (50% of them women) in the central service unit.
    Additional income and labour employment will be made for the suppliers of cages, equipment, feed etc.

  2. The initiative can be quickly implemented, start its production within a few months. Its short production cycles, which are less then 6 month, enable immediate impact on society.

  3. Enable quick economical impact in rural regions, at relatively small capital investment

  4. Reduce unemployment by supplying jobs to women and unskilled men in the process plant and fish rearing at their own yard.

  5. Improve foreign trade balance since most of its supply will comes from the local market.

  6. Reduce malnutrition, illnesses and medical cost.

Individuals Benefits:

  1. Enable poor families to set up their own small business – access to financing, markets and knowledge they can’t reach otherwise.

  2. Increase household’s income, improve welfare and wealth distribution

  3. Reduce food cost for family and external expenditure on food.