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Projects and activities | 18 June 2019

ITACA - Improved Management and Technological Innovation in African Tilapia Farms and Hatcheries

Tilapia is an important source of healthy and affordable animal protein, offering a valuable contribution to the diet of Africa’s rural poor in particular. Many natural fisheries are being overexploited however and we are seeing, often through government support, a concomitant rise in the share of the total tilapia harvest being produced through increasingly intensive aquaculture. Nevertheless, common constraints shared by many tilapia producing countries in Africa such as poor management, inadequate hatcheries, low productivity and lack of technological innovation can lead to shortage of fry and fingerlings, to health and safety concerns, and to negative environmental impact.

The ITACA project’s team of researchers, together with a private sector engineering company, took a three-pronged approach to addressing these problems with tilapia farmers in Egypt (one of the world’s major producers of tilapia) and Senegal: determining key factors in the social and economic sustainability of tilapia farms, introducing technological innovation for increasing the production of hatcheries, and reinforcing capacities in aquaculture research.

Their three years of effort have led to real world outcomes: production parameters are up in pilot tilapia farms and hatcheries where new management plans and an automated monitoring and control system are being tested for their benefits to production costs, and on social and environmental impact. The team’s results have been disseminated widely among actors in the value chain, and the project has reached out to 2,500 tilapia farms and hatcheries.

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