Egypt addresses its aquaculture challenges

PROBLEMS in the Egyptian aquaculture industry, including water quality and disease prevention, were addressed at a meeting of key stakeholders in Cairo last week.
Aquaculture is a US$1.5 billion industry in Egypt and accounts for 65 per cent of the fish consumed in the country.
The second Egyptian Aquaculture Innovation Platform, organised by WorldFish, reviewed the progress of 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.
Dr Gamal El Naggar, Egypt director of WorldFish, 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 eighty 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 organised 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 Programme on Livestock and Fish.