Aquaculture Growing, But Still Untapped In Africa

Aquaculture Growing, But Still Untapped In Africa

Fish farming has increased by up to 90 percent in Africa in the last five years, but with global demand rising faster than fish supplies, the industry is relatively untapped on the continent, according to the 32nd Brussels Briefing on Fish Farming.

Speakers at the briefing were unanimous: there is significant potential for fish farming in Africa if the right policies are in place, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation reports.  

Even with Africa’s “spectacular” rate of expansion in fish farming, fish supply will not satisfy demand in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2015, said Sloans Chimatiro, Senior fisheries advisor at the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

“Africa might be able to import fish from other parts of the world, but I think there is potential is to increase the amount of fish produced locally,” Chimatiro said.

Market-led approaches could be the best solution for boosting aquaculture growth in Africa, Chimatiro said in the report. He cited Nigeria, which offers opportunities to rural youth.

Good governance and politics will are key aspects for the development of aquaculture, he said.

African Union heads of state at the Food Security Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in December  named fisheries and aquaculture as strategic commodities alongside rice, corn and other strategic food products, the report says.

The briefings session cited possible cooperation among fish farming groups in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.