The huge potential of integrated aquaculture in Africa

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Life without water is difficult, but could greatly change the curse of it when aquatic resources are available.

On other continent, people have succeeded (even with some difficulties due to climat irregularities) to diversify activities around this precious assets. They have succeeded to combine several activities to make them more efficient or better integrated to the local context.

So, should be Africa, even water is reduced in volume in many places.

Unfortunately, many agricultural projects, irrigation schemes, agro-industries, hydro-electric reservoirs and unproductive wetlands could be better developed if appropriate specialist(s) in particular fields could visit for identifying unexploited potential. These experts should not only have experience in a wide range of complementary expertises, but should also learn from local small farmers and regional practices that proved their efficiency. For it, some important ways to culture and raise animals cannot just be transposed from other countries. They should definitely be adapted to the place where it is supposed to bring development. Thus, in many regions of this continent, we could do much better than what has been proposed in the past century !

Experiences on four continents taught me that fisheries and aquacultural projects are much more successful if they fully integrate the indigenous context. This means giving priority to simple techniques, using essentially local resources, relying heavily on native task force and involving resident social aspects for true relieve and efficient development. In many circunstances, it was observed that too much amount of funds coming from international aid programs have been wasted in “intermediary” political, administrative and international supervision. Furthermore, using non appropriate technology for local context is unable to complete any goal for getting locally better economical stability.

Of cource, we should suggest and inform about new alternatives for the benefit of many people and places. However, any final option should be taken within all parties: autochtonous populations and international participants. This is the price for bringing quality of life by increasing, for instance, the business of fish which will in its turn raise de consume of a product good in proteins, healthier in fat and high in energy to carry up daily tasks1.


1Fish and seafood are often included in diets because they provide a good source of protein that is not accompanied by excessive calories or saturated fats. In the past 20 years, biomedical research has shown that nearly a dozen very potent autacoids (= hormone-like materials within tissues that increase or diminish the response of the tissue to signals; such as " histamine " and " thromboxane ") derived from dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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