Since 2002, WorldFish has run a breeding program in Egypt for a faster-growing strain of Nile tilapia, known as the Abbassa improved strain. The strain was produced using a methodology developed from the WorldFish Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) breeding program.
Dissemination of the Abbassa strain has benefited many farmers in Egypt, the second-largest tilapia-producing country in the world. Many Egyptian farmers had previously relied on poor quality seed leading to low productivity. Results from the Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project show that use of the Abbassa strain by fish farmers has helped increase yields by 5 percent (t/ha) and improve farm efficiency.
In 2016, with funding from the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, WorldFish continued to develop the Abbassa strain by shifting to a winter breeding cycle and preparing to produce the 14th generation.
Contributed by Kate Bevitt, WorldFish