The IEIDEAS project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and managed by WorldFish and CARE in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, has focused on the development of the Egyptian aquaculture value chain. In 2011, SDC and WorldFish conducted a value chain assessment.
The document attempts to distil what is currently known about the likely impacts of climate change on the commodities and natural resources that comprise the mandate of CGIAR and its 15 Centres. It was designed as one background document for a review carried out by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) at the behest of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on what is known about the likely effects of climate change on food security and nutrition, with a focus on the most affected and vulnerable regions and populations.
Macrobrachiurn rosenbergii is one of the widely cultured freshwater prawn species globally. India was the third largest producer of this species in 2007 and its aquaculture production rose to 43,000 metric tons (t) in 2005 froin less than 500 t in 1995. However, since then production has been declining and in 2008-09 it was 12,856 t, a reduction of more than 70% compared to 2005. There are several contributing factors to this decline, such as slow growth rate, poor survival, disease outbreaks, increase in cost of production, and availability of low risk alternative fish species.
Animal source food production globally already faces increasing pressure because of negative environmental implications, particularly because of greenhouse gas emissions. As livestock and aquaculture are important sources of livelihood, it is necessary to find suitable solutions to convert these industries into economically viable enterprises, while reducing the ill effects of global warming. The most evident and important effects of climate change on livestock production will be mediated through changes in feed resources.
In the developing world, more than 1 billion people depend on fish for most of their animal protein, and another 1 billion people depend on livestock. Poor people, especially women and children, typically eat very little meat, milk and fish. This contributes to nutrient deficiencies and poor physical and cognitive development for children and poor health and livelihood outcomes for adults.
Water quality variables were monitored during 3.5 years of research on pig-fish, duck-fish and chicken-fish systems. Early morning dissolved oxygen levels were often below 0.5 mg/1. Total ammonia levels were highest in chicken-fish systems with maximum levels exceeding 6 mg1. Water quality sampling designs which measure the fluctuations in water quality variables are discussed. Species selection, control of manure loads, addition of new water, and aeration are presented as means to manage water quality in livestock-fish systems.
Egypt’s aquaculture sector provides full-time employment for more than 140,000 people and is a critical source of fish that provides Egyptians with up to 38% of their animal protein intake.
Despite being valued at US$ 1.5 billion, the sector faces various challenges. Poor and variable water quality, as well as restrictions on water and land use, limit the growth of aquaculture. Rising feed costs and the increased poverty levels of consumers mean fish farmers are feeling the pressure of higher production costs and lack of price flexibility.
Exposed to the intense Egyptian sun, a woman sits by the side of a dirt road selling freshly harvested tilapia from a local fish farm. Tired after rising at dawn to buy her produce, she is approached by a man who demands that she pay him a fee for her roadside stall or he’ll force her to sell elsewhere. She protests, but with no work license or union support there is little she can do. Their exchange escalates and the man upturns her icebox in anger, spilling her fish across the road.
Forming a vast grid across the flat, dry countryside, Egypt’s aquaculture ponds sit side-by-side in designated fish farming zones.
Employing more than 140,000 people full time, the industry has boomed over the last two decades and continues to grow at a rapid pace, attracting new fish farmers like Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Hamid Mahmoud who left his job in the poultry industry after recognizing the market demand for farmed fish.