Value chain showing the steps of fish handling from inputs, production, processing and distribution, marketing to final consumption.
Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are diverse production and livelihood systems where families cultivate a range of crops, raise livestock, farm or catch fish, gather fruits and other tree crops, and harness natural resources such as timber, reeds, and wildlife. Aquatic agricultural systems occur along freshwater floodplains, coastal deltas, and inshore marine waters, and are characterized by dependence on seasonal changes in productivity, driven by seasonal variation in rainfall, river flow, and/or coastal and marine processes.
The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish started in January 2012. It aims to increase the productivity of small-scale livestock and fish systems in sustainable ways, making meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers across the developing world. Genetics is one of the three technological components of the Livestock and Fish research program. A genetics team meeting was held on 30-31 July 2012, at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi.
This CGIAR Research Program’s vision is for the health, livelihoods and future prospects of the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children, to be transformed through consumption of adequate amounts of meat, milk and/or fish and from benefiting from the associated animal source food value chains. CRP3.7 aims to realize this vision by seizing upon an unprecedented opportunity to integrate and exploit three ongoing revolutions – the Livestock Revolution, the Blue Revolution and the Gene Revolution.
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.
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.