Five tilapia farmers and 18 aquaculture hatchery and farm development staff from Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries, completed a –four-day training recently (20 – 23 February) on brood stock management at the Naduruloulou Freshwater Research Station and Pacific Community’s (SPC) campus in Nabua, Fiji.
The training, provided by the European Union funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project, was facilitated by brood stock expert and Director of Aquaculture Development at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Dr Ram Bhujel, and SPC Aquaculture officers, Dr Tim Pickering and Mr Avinash Singh.
“The main objective of the brood stock management training is to increase resilience in the tilapia sector by informing participants on how to maintain high-quality tilapia, which produce top quality tilapia fry which has high survival rate. Supporting this training strengthens a healthy cycle of tilapia production, which will help grow the market,” European Union Ambassador to the Pacific H.E. Andrew Jacobs, said.
In Fiji, there are about three hundred and three active tilapia farmers and this number is gradually increasing.
The Ministry of Fisheries have noted that many farmers are opting to rear tilapia for food security reasons but the supply of quality tilapia fry is restricting farmers from becoming commercialised. Through this training, both government’s tilapia hatchery operators and key players in the tilapia industry will be equipped to lift the tilapia industry to a commercial level.
The training improved participants understanding about key biological and technical principles underpinning quality fingerling production of tilapia and, through collaboration between participants and facilitators, recommendations were made to address gaps identified in aquaculture sector capacity.
The five tilapia farmers who are participating in the workshop are also opening their own private hatcheries in the coming months with assistance from the IACT project. Through the training, they were shown how to develop their own Brood Stock Management Plan to suit the needs of their farms.
“Although the assistance provided to the tilapia sector is seemingly indirect, the benefits will have lasting impacts. We hope the assistance provided to the tilapia sector in the form of training and supporting the establishment of private hatcheries will act as a catalyst to grow the market. Increasing quality tilapia production also means an affordable and healthy option for everyone,” IACT Project Leader Jonathan Landrey said.
The training is part of the TC Winston Recovery Action, an initiative supported by the European Union, focusing on strengthening trading activities in the commercial enterprises in the agriculture and aquaculture industries.
Vivita Matanimeke, SPC Communications Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org or +679 337 0733
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.