Investment in aquaculture essential to meet Africa’s food demand

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Investment in Africa’s aquaculture sector could see production increase six-fold from 2.9 million metric tons to 19 million metric tons a year. Conversely, without science-based solutions, aquaculture production will stagnate and annual per capita fish consumption, which is already the lowest in the world, could drop from 10 kg to 7 kg.

This is according to figures presented by WorldFish Director Gareth Johnstone at this year’s edition of AquaVision .

“The African population is set to double by 2050. This is why aquaculture is very important to meet the growing food demand,” Dr. Johnstone said at the conference in Stavanger, Norway.

The three-day event, which attracts more than 400 participants from around 40 countries, is organized every two years by the aquafeed companies Skretting and Nutreco .

Dr. Johnstone also noted that Africa’s aquaculture industry is currently underutilized. If better exploited, it could positively impact the livelihoods and the food and nutrition security of millions of people.

Greater benefits for resource-poor value chain actors

His comments reflect the growing acknowledgement that private sector collaboration is crucial for boosting aquaculture development in Africa.

In Zambia , WorldFish has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the aquaculture-focused companies Yalelo , Aller Aqua Zambia and Horizon Aquaculture . Running for five years, the MoUs seek to strengthen the aquaculture sector through R&D efforts to bring about greater benefits for resource-poor value chain actors. This goal, which is aligned with the strategic objectives of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH), includes novel supply and distribution options for higher productivity and lower cost fish feeds and fingerlings, fish health and disease-prevention initiatives, and enhanced access to more affordable fish.

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