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.
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.
As a member of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The WorldFish Center will partner with several other CGIAR Centers in the CGIAR Research Program 3.7 "More meat, milk and fish by and for the poor". The focus of research for the fish components of the Program are on technology platform and integrated value chain research.
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.