Critical problems, including water quality and disease prevention, in the $1.5 billion Egyptian aquaculture industry were addressed in a meeting of key stakeholders in Cairo last week.
The second plenary meeting of the Egyptian Aquaculture Innovation Platform, organized by WorldFish, addressed concerns affecting the industry and set out a series of action items in order to move towards a country-wide aquaculture plan.
The meeting reviewed work carried out by the six working groups established in 2014 on issues including: high production costs in fish farms; improving fish handling in markets; improving land tenure for aquaculture; ensuring fish farmers are well-represented in policy discussions; improving fish health and securing water of adequate quality and quantity for fish farms.
Worldfish’s Egypt director, Dr Gamal El Naggar, said: “The Innovation Platform process is an excellent model that engages different actors and parties of the sector to come up with better structured recommendations. The next critical step is for group leaders to meet and decide on solid actions to make sure that these recommendations are acted on.”
The 80 participants, including fish farmers, input suppliers, fish retailers, policymakers and researchers, identified clear recommendations including: increasing the cultivation of feed materials; the use of new technology in manufacturing floating feeds and applying quality control standards on both raw materials and final products. They also proposed the adoption of market standards; the approval of legislation to control the handling of fish value-added products; the establishment of water quality and disease clinics; and the alignment of taxation levels on land use.
The ‘Innovation Platform’ process has been organized under the Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and implemented by WorldFish and CARE as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish.