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PD/A CRSP Aquanews-Summer 2003

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Graduate’s Corner

ongratulations to Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo on the successful defense of her M.S. thesis this spring at Auburn University, Alabama. Trejos’ advisor was Joseph Molnar, a long-time Aquaculture CRSP Principal Investigator.


(abstract of Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo’s M.S. thesis)

With very few exceptions, rural aquaculture in the Central American region is not properly integrated into government structure and policy frameworks. Studies suggest that small-scale aquaculture projects in Central America have had some success, although it has been limited. Structural policies have reduced the governments’ capacity to promote and develop aquaculture oriented towards the production of cheap products for the poor. In Honduras, poverty represents one of the major problems of the rural areas where individuals suffer from the lack of access to land titles, credit, and appropriate technology for their livelihood improvement. The adoption of aquaculture practices have been a long-term process in which socio-cultural as well as economic and political factors have played a determinant role. Major difficulties encountered in promoting aquaculture in the country are not linked to existing physical resources, but mainly to institutional factors, as well as to research and entrepreneurial capacity. The purpose of this study is to identify socio-economic factors leading to the successful adoption of tilapia culture by subsistence farmers and small tilapia producers at Santa Barbara, Honduras. Subsistence and small farmers’ reasons for initiating, continuing, or stopping tilapia culture as well as the advantages or disadvantages of the enterprise are evaluated in the study. Results suggest that the extended relationship with a local non-governmental organization is clearly one of the reasons for the sustain practice of fish culture at the study communities. Farmers also rely on the NGO to provide technical support and seed supply. Role of women in aquaculture development programs and research at the rural areas is also an important fact to be evaluated. Women play determinant roles at almost any all the stages of the adoption of the aquaculture innovation throughout the maintenance of the enterprise. The role of public sector, non-government organizations and donor support in promotion of small-scale aquaculture is determinant for the adoption of aquaculture enterprises among the poor. Mainly due to the lack of coordination and unification of such organizations, the rate of adoption of aquaculture has been lower than expected in Honduras.

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