BANGKOK, Thailand—Five Fijian tilapia farmers recently attended a course on aquaculture at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.
The two-week course (Dec. 5-16) provided participants with hands-on training on how to set up and run tilapia hatcheries and grow-out farms.
The five participants were selected to attend the training by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through the Increasing Agricultural Commodities Trade project, a project funded by the European Union, which supports Fiji’s recovery from Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The EU ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said: ”The Winston recovery process is an opportunity to evaluate key supply chain vulnerabilities in view of climate-related disasters, such as cyclones. For the Fijian tilapia industry, securing the local supply of tilapia fry remains an important priority. This very practical training will increase resilience by promoting the secure and responsive local supply of fry.”
There are currently around 300 active tilapia farms in Fiji, many of which were damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
To assist with the recovery, the project is upskilling lead tilapia farmers with the aim to help them open their own private tilapia hatcheries. Expanding the number of hatcheries within the private sector will give tilapia farmers access to top quality tilapia fry and fingerlings.
“There is a need for more private hatcheries, which will not only help the individual commercial farmer to reliably expand their production volume, but it will also reduce the risk to supply from cyclone damage by the geographical spread of the nurseries,” Pacific Community deputy director-general (Suva) Dr. Audrey Aumua said.
Aquaculture is fast becoming an important component of food security and livelihood.
Strengthening the supply of tilapia fry, which forms the foundation of the tilapia industry within Fiji, creates a sustainable future for aquaculture farmers. (SPC)