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African aquaculture: a regional summary with emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa
Machena, C.; Moehl, J. (2001). African aquaculture: a regional summary with emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. Technical Proceedings of the Conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium: Bangkok, Thailand. 341-355 pp.

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Author keywords
    Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, aquaculture, development, fish farming

Authors  Top 
  • Machena, C.
  • Moehl, J.

    The African Region consists of 48 countries and five island nations, most of which are practising some form of aquaculture, often at a very low level. Over half the countries report producing less than 100 mt annually. The largest producer is Nigeria (17 700 mt) followed by Madagascar (5 100 mt) and Zambia (4 700 mt). The 1997 combined aquaculture production of the region was 40 300 mt. Aquaculture is estimated to be 95 percent small scale, with fish ponds integrated into the mosaic of agricultural activities. Mean yield is approximated as 500 kg/ha/yr, although the range is wide, from less than a hundred to more than 10 000 kg/ha/yr. A typical scenario would be a 300 m2 pond producing 15 kg a year relying on family labour and on-farm inputs. There is little reporting of production from the region’s many reservoirs, although these are often exploited by nearby populations. Commercial finfish culture is fresh or brackish water, with Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa being important producers. Commercial tilapia farms report pond yields of 10 to 15 mt/ha/yr, while Clarias yields can exceed 20 mt/ha/yr. Marine shrimp culture is concentrated in Madagascar, although a few farms are found in Seychelles, Mozambique and Kenya. Mussels, oysters, abalone and seaweed are also marine cultures in some countries. Fish consumption has been decreasing as supply decreases relative to a growing population: from 9 kg per capita in 1990 to 6 kg per person at present. The attributes of Sub-Saharan Africa include under-utilized water and land resources, available and inexpensive labour, high demand for fish and a climate that favours a year-round growing period. However, optimal use of these resources has frequently been curtailed by poor infrastructure and lack of production inputs. The potential for expansion is nevertheless considerable, but requires several enabling factors that include: a positive perception of aquaculture, sound policies at the national level, strong public institutions, availability of nutrient inputs, conducive investment policies to attract increased private-sector participation, and access to credit for commercial-scale enterprises.

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