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Research Projects - PD/A CRSP 18th Admin Report
PD/A CRSP Eighteenth Annual Administrative Report

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Research Projects
Kenya Project

MOU No. RD009A (OSU)
Subcontract No. RD 010A-08 (AU)

Staff

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
James Bowman US Co-Principal Investigator, US Regional Coordinator
Christopher Langdon US Co-Principal Investigator

Auburn University, Alabama
Thomas PopmaUS Co-Principal Investigator
Karen VevericaUS Co-Principal Investigator
Bethuel OmoloGraduate Research Assistant (Kenya; from January 2000; CRSP funded)

Fisheries Department, Nairobi, Kenya
Nancy Gitonga Host Country Principal Investigator (from January 2000)
Fred Pertet Host Country Principal Investigator (through August 1999)

Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
David LitiHost Country Co-Principal Investigator (from January 2000)
Mucai MuchiriHost Country Co-Principal Investigator (from March 2000)
Charles Ngugi Host Country Co-Principal Investigator (from December 1999)
Robertson MugoGraduate Research Assistant (from October 1999; CRSP funded)

Sagana Fish Farm, Sagana, Kenya
Japhet Ngatuni Host Country Research Associate and Head of Station (from January 2000)
Bethuel Omolo Host Country Research Associate and Head of Station (through December 1999)
Patricia MwauGraduate Student, University of Nairobi (partially CRSP funded)
Daniel Oenga NyanchiriGraduate Student, Moi University (through October 1999; partially CRSP funded)
Robert Olendi Graduate Student, Moi University (partially CRSP funded)
Enos Were Graduate Student, Moi University (partially CRSP funded)
David Mirera Undergraduate Student, Moi University (through December 1999)
Cosmos MungoUndergraduate Student, Moi University (through December 1999)
Daniel Ndegwa NderituUndergraduate Student, Mombasa Polytechnic (through August 1999)
William Nyaga Undergraduate Student, Moi University (through December 1999)
Paul WamweaUndergraduate Student, Kenyatta University (through May 2000)

International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), Zomba, Malawi
Daniel Jamu Host Country Co-Principal Investigator

Bunda College, Lilongwe, Malawi
Jeremy Likongwe Host Country Co-Principal Investigator

Site Background

The Kenya Project operates out of Sagana Fish Farm, in Central Province, in collaboration with the Kenya Fisheries Department under a Memorandum of Understanding between Oregon State University (OSU) and the Fisheries Department of Kenya's Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. (In 1999, the Fisheries Department moved to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.)

Research activities in this reporting period addressed aquaculture development constraints and research priorities identified in the Continuation Plan 1996–2001. These include optimization of production/management strategies through more efficient use of fertilizers and feeds, use of supplemental feeds, increasing control over tilapia reproduction and fingerling production, conducting training activities in basic pond management practices, regionalizing the benefits of the CRSP research program through outreach activities, and establishing a companion site.

Work Plan Research

The following Eighth Work Plan investigation continued into the current reporting period:

The following Ninth Work Plan investigations continued into the current reporting period:

These subcontracts were also awarded funding to conduct the following Ninth Work Plan investigations:

Note: The schedule for 9ATR1 has been modified. The schedule and methods for 9FFR2 have been modified. The methods for 9ADR3 have been modified. Please see Appendix 5, "Completion Dates for Work Plan Studies," for revised schedule information. Revised methods will appear in the Addendum to the Ninth Work Plan. The investigations listed above are collaborative projects between OSU and Auburn University (AU). The study 9FFR2, "Fish yields and economic benefits of tilapia/Clarias polyculture in fertilized ponds receiving commercial feeds or pelleted agricultural by-products," is a collaborative project among OSU, AU, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB; under Subcontract No. RD010A-13). The following report submitted by OSU and AU addresses objective 1, locally available and lower-cost feeds. The 9FFR2A report submitted by UAPB addresses objective 2, the relative contribution of natural food (see p. 62). The study 9ER1, "Use of pond effluents for irrigation in an integrated crop/aquaculture system" (AU; under Subcontract No. RD010A-07) is another collaborative project (see p. 63).

Networking

During CRSP researcher James Bowman's Kenya visit in January, he and Karen Veverica met several times with the department head and professors from the Moi University Department of Fisheries (DOF) regarding collaboration on training and research, as well as on formalization of the collaboration between the two groups for the remainder of Ninth Work Plan activities. One outcome was a set of short training courses for DOF personnel. DOF faculty and Host Country Principal Investigators Charles Ngugi and Mucai Muchiri were instrumental in planning and implementation of the new courses. During the past year, the Kenya Project also helped the Moi University DOF library acquire current textbooks and references on aquaculture and fisheries.

Veverica and Bowman also met twice with then–Interim Director of the Kenya Fisheries Department (KFD), Nancy Gitonga, who pledged KFD support in seeing the successful completion of all CRSP-supported activities. Veverica remains in weekly contact with Gitonga.

Sagana Fish Farm and the KFD contributed to a display for the Ministry of Natural Resources at the Agriculture Society of Kenya's annual Nairobi Show held at the end of September. Attendance reached 100,000 visitors a day for the event. CRSP researchers and students arranged a 10-foot aquarium to showcase aquaculture species such as tilapia, Clarias, and carp; Sagana also donated Clarias fillets to be served at the Ministry of Agriculture's display.

Researchers at Sagana Fish Farm met with the Provisional Commissioner for Central Province when he visited the farm in October. The researchers continue to meet with extension agents from seven districts to discuss and organize on-farm trials.

Researchers from the Kenya Project have assisted board members of the Mt. Kenya Fish Farmers Association in writing a proposal for a small grant to purchase harvesting gear and marketing equipment as well as in marketing and group organization. Francis Ndonga, chairman of the Mt. Kenya Fish Farmers Association and a participant in CRSP on-farm trials, has begun to teach and hold seminars on fish farming by using information gained from farmers workshops.

An owner of fish ponds in Kiambu and Laikipia asked for advice on the possibility of starting a fish feed manufacturing plant. In addition, Alpha Aquaculture in Kitengela was provided a supply of fry to start grow-out ponds and advice on water chemistry and aeration. CRSP researchers also evaluated the water supply and chemistry for a prospective fish farmer in Makueno and worked with a group of rice growers to develop rice-fish farming techniques. The Sagana farm receives at least one visit a week from farmers, teachers, or students interested in aquaculture.

CRSP researchers have worked with the owner of a large dam near Nairobi who is building 12 cages for holding fish to supply his restaurant. They are also currently advising five other commercial ventures in Western Kenya and Rift Valley. The researchers provided information on air blower specifications and an enterprise budget to the owner of Anicare, the largest pet store in Kenya and exporter of ornamental fish.

The Kenya Project researchers have begun a relationship with the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme. This has been a prolonged development, and conversations have taken place in person, by phone, and via email.

Milton Egesa, the Program Coordinator and Director of the Uganda Wetlands and Resource Conservation Association (UWRCA), expressed his interest in training programs for farmers and visited Sagana for a month to work on a proposal for funding such programs.

Sagana Women's Group received funding to expand its fish/pig/bee-rearing business. Amadiva and Veverica advise the group, and they visit the group every two weeks.

Educational Outreach

CRSP researcher David Liti taught an aquaculture course at Moi University for graduate students. The course was held at Sagana Fish Farm, and Fisheries Officers were also able to attend. Veverica also gave two lectures on hatchery design and on pond construction and management. Additional courses on these topics were held in May, in which 20 Fisheries Officers and 3 private contractor crews participated.

Fish farmers continue to visit Sagana Fish Farm on a regular basis for advice on pond construction, stocking, or management, or to pick up aquaculture Fact Sheets. School children of all ages also continue to make regular field trips to Sagana.

Publications

Gichuri, W.M., 1999. Relative contribution of rice bran and inorganic fertilizers in semi-intensive tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and catfish (Clarias gariepinus) polyculture in Kenya. M.S. thesis, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
Veverica, K.L. and B. Omolo. Commercial tilapia production recommendations and enterprise budgets for East Africa in the absence of formulated feeds. Naga. (in press)

Presentations

Muchiri, M. Break-even price and investment costs under different loan schemes for small-scale fish farmers in Kenya. Presented to the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET 2000) at Corvallis, Oregon, 10–13 July 2000.
Veverica, K.L. Commercial tilapia production recommendations and enterprise budgets of East Africa in the absence of formulated feeds. Presented to Lake Victoria 2000 at Jinja, Uganda, 14–19 May 2000.
Veverica, K.L., B.W. Green, J. Bowman, D.R. Teichert-Coddington, and C.E. Boyd. Optimization of nitrogen fertilization rate in freshwater tilapia production ponds in Honduras and Kenya. Presented to World Aquaculture 2000 at Nice, France, 2–6 May 2000.

Conferences

PD/A CRSP Annual Meeting at New Orleans, Louisiana, 31 January–2 February 2000. (Omolo, Popma, Bowman)
Aquaculture America 2000 at New Orleans, Louisiana, 2–5 February 2000. (Bowman, Popma)
Lake Victoria 2000 at Jinja, Uganda, 14–19 May 2000. (Veverica, Ngatuni, Kahareri, Mbaluka, Were)
Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET 2000) at Corvallis, Oregon, 10–14 July 2000. (Muchiri)

Global Experiment: Optimization of Nitrogen Fertilization Rate in Freshwater Tilapia Production Ponds

Eighth Work Plan, Feeds and Fertilizers Research 1 (8FFR1K)
Final Report

Karen L Veverica
Resident Research Coordinator, Sagana Fish Farm and Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University

Jim Bowman
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University

Tom Popma
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University

Printed as Submitted

Abstract

Two experiments to determine the optimum nitrogen fertilization rates for freshwater tilapia production ponds at Sagana Fish Farm, Sagana, Kenya, were conducted during 1998 and 1999. Twelve 800m2 earthen research ponds managed by the PD/A CRSP at Sagana were used for the experiments. Diammonium phosphate and urea were used to apply nitrogen to the ponds at rates of 0, 10, 20, and 30 kg N ha-1 wk-1. Triple superphosphate or diammonium phosphate and sodium carbonate were applied to ponds to assure that phosphorus and carbon were not limiting. A completely randomized design was used, with three replicates for each of the four treatments. The experiment was conducted once during the 1998 cool season (May to October) and again during the warm season of 1998-1999 (November to March). In the cool-season experiment, ponds were stocked with sex reversed Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, averaging 16.9 grams at a rate of 1,000 kg ha-1 and with Clarias gariepinus fingerlings averaging 37 g at a rate of 37 kg ha-1. In the warm season experiment, all ponds were stocked with sex reversed O. niloticus averaging 90 g at 1000 kg ha-1 and with C. gariepinus juveniles averaging 166 g at 125 kg ha-1. Pond assignments were re-randomized prior to the second experiment. Ponds were drained when fish growth appeared to have stopped in all treatments. In both experiments, a highly significant (p<0.01) quadratic relationship best described gross fish yield (as well as net) as related to weekly nitrogen input. Presence of Clarias had little impact on the relationship but it appeared the high nitrogen input rates had no negative effect on Clarias production. Increasing nitrogen input beyond 20 kg N ha-1 wk-1 did not result in increased tilapia yields. Total nitrogen and all mineral forms of nitrogen increased with increasing nitrogen input, as did chlorophyll a. Partial budget analysis indicated that greatest marginal returns were at the calculated rates of 19.9 and 16.0 kg N ha-1 wk-1 for the cool- and warm-season experiments, respectively. A carryover effect from the first experiment is suggested. Results from this experiment are similar to those obtained at the CRSP site at El Carao, Honduras.

Fish Yields and Economic Benefits of Tilapia/Clarias Polyculture in Fertilized Ponds Receiving Commercial Feeds or Pelleted Agricultural By-Products

Ninth Work Plan, Feeds and Fertilizers Research 2 (9FFR2)
Progress Report

Karen Veverica
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

David Liti
Department of Zoology
Moi University
Eldoret, Kenya

Enos Were
Department of Fisheries
Moi University
Eldoret, Kenya

Jim Bowman
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Abstract

There is a clear need to develop feed/fertilizer combinations that are appropriate for fish farming in Kenya and other parts of Africa. The strategy of using high-quality nutritionally complete feeds to produce high fish yields, frequently employed in developed countries, is often impossible or inappropriate in countries where high-quality feed ingredients are in short supply or are very expensive. However, the use of lower-quality pelleted feeds formulated specifically for tilapia, combined with fertilization regimes to increase the availability of natural food organisms, may be an economically appropriate approach for intensification of tilapia culture in Africa. This experiment is the second in a series designed to compare fish performance and economic benefits under different fertilization/feeding regimesusing low-cost, locally available materialsin earthen ponds. Water quality and fish growth sampling data were collected throughout the experiment, but data have not yet been analyzed. This report includes preliminary observations regarding the experiment. The experiment was conducted in twelve 800-m2 earthen research ponds at Sagana Fish Farm, Kenya, between November 1999 and May 2000. Four replicates of each of three combinations of feed and fertilizer were tested. The treatments were Rice Bran (RB), Pig Finisher Pellets (PFP), and Test Diet Pellet (TDP). The experiment was concluded when fish reached market size, which occurred after 180 days. Water quality parameters were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among the three treatments except for total alkalinity, for which PFP ponds had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) mean value. Phytoplankton communities exhibited a strong seasonal succession, being dominated by green algae in the beginning and by blue-greens later in the cycle. Gross primary productivity ranged from 0.1 to 11.9 g C m-2 d-1 for all treatments. It took almost two months to develop phytoplankton blooms in the ponds, and fish growth was relatively slow at first. Fish receiving RB grew much slower than in similar treatments in previous trials. This was probably due to the lower than normal protein content of the bran. Average fish yield was greatest in ponds receiving PFP, followed by TDP, and finally by RB. Less than 50% of the fish in the RB treatment attained market size (300 g), whereas over 80% of the fish from the other two treatments were over 300 g. Clarias in all treatments attained market size of 600 g. If price varies by fish size, using PFP for supplemental feeding would be the best choice. Rice bran had significantly lower fish growth rate, net fish yield, and annual production compared to PFP and TDP (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in survival rate and relative condition factor among the treatments. Relative profitability analysis using partial and enterprise budgets revealed that the PFP treatment was the best, followed by the RB treatment. Net returns were positive for all treatment regimes. However, RB had the lowest break-even price and the least investment cost.

On-Farm Trials: Evaluation of Alternative Aquaculture Technologies by Local Farmers in Kenya

Ninth Work Plan, Appropriate Technology Research 1 (9ATR1)
Progress Report

Karen L. Veverica
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Charles Ngugi
Department of Fisheries
Moi University
Eldoret, Kenya

James R. Bowman
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Abstract

Research conducted by the PD/A CRSP at Sagana Fish Farm has begun to identify alternative management practices and technologies that may be suitable in the region, but it should not be assumed that results obtained under controlled experimental conditions at Sagana are directly transferable to farms in the area. On-farm testing is therefore a logical step in transferring research-based technologies to the farm. On-farm testing of various alternatives allows farmers to assess their costs and benefits under local conditions as well as to receive instruction and training in basic pond management skills. The conduct of such trials also allows project personnel to work with and train the fisheries extension officers who are involved in the trials at the various locations, thus complementing the training they receive through "regular" training activities.

Thirty farmers were selected to participate in on-farm trials in five districts of Central Province, Kenya, in 1999–2000. A pre-trial workshop including farmers, extension agents, Kenyan and US CRSP personnel, and students working on research projects at Sagana was held in December 1999 to discuss and select management schemes for testing, to agree on how the trials would be conducted, and to plan for proper record keeping during the trial period. Fifty-two ponds were stocked with monosex male tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), mixed-sex tilapia, and/or catfish (Clarias gariepinus) between January and March 2000. Stocking densities were 2 fish m-2 for tilapia, 0.2 fish m-2 for catfish stocked with tilapia, and 1 fish m-2 for catfish stocked alone. Management schemes being tested include a "no cash expenditure" type of management, which relied on inputs such as manures and leaves found on farms, and a "purchased feed/fertilizer" management scheme, which featured chemical fertilizer and a feed such as bran or maize germ. Ponds are sampled for fish growth at four- to six-week intervals, and farmers keep records of input type and weight, input costs, pond water additions, fish mortality, and fish weight and length. The trials are underway, but harvests were not expected to begin until at least September 2000. A post-trial workshop will be held to summarize and evaluate the results of the trials. A similar set of trials is planned for western Kenya.

Aquaculture Training for Kenyan Fisheries Officers and University Students

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 3 (9ADR3)
Progress Report

Karen L. Veverica
Resident Research Coordinator, Sagana Fish Farm
Auburn University

Mucai Muchiri
Head, Department of Fisheries
Moi University

Charles C. Ngugi
Professor, Department of Fisheries
Moi University

James R. Bowman
US Regional Coordinator
Oregon State University

Judith Amadiva
Social Development Officer
Sagana Fish Farm

Printed as Submitted

Abstract

Lack of technical training has been cited as a major reason for the low output of fish ponds in Kenya. The lack was observed at all levels, from the lowest level extension agent through university levels. The training program undertaken by the Africa Project in Kenya seeks to improve training and to provide a cadre of trainers who have extensive practical fish production experience.

This year the Africa Project has begun scholarship support for two MS students, one at Moi University's Chepkoilel Campus, Eldoret, Kenya, and the other at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Small stipends for student research conducted at Sagana Fish Farm have allowed undergraduate as well as graduate-level university students to remain longer to complete projects and gain valuable field experience. A small research projects program for station staff has allowed them to further their professional development and carry out their own research, which can have a positive impact on station management.

The program of farmer education days developed during the first half of 1999 (Veverica et al, 2000) was followed this year by a series of four short courses for personnel of the Kenya Fisheries Department (KFD). In this series of courses, more than 80 FD staff received two weeks of training in pond construction methods and pond management techniques. Additional farmer field days for approximately 50 farmers are also planned for later in 2000.

Establishment of Companion Sites
in the Africa Region

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 4 (9ADR4)
Progress Report

Daniel Jamu
ICLARM-Malawi
National Aquaculture Center
Zomba, Malawi

James R. Bowman
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Karen L. Veverica
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Abstract

The establishment of one or more companion sites in the Africa Region was proposed as a way of expanding regional efforts of the CRSP by assisting with the conduct of needed research at other sites in the region and of verifying the results of CRSP research at its prime site. The objectives specifically listed for this effort in the Ninth Work Plan are 1) to identify and establish one or more companion sites for the Africa Region (year 1) and 2) to define and implement investigations at the companion site in support of PD/A CRSP and companion site goals (year 2). During the first year of the Ninth Work Plan (December 1998 to November 1999), CRSP Kenya Project personnel continued discussions with possible collaborators in Malawi, leading to a proposal to collaborate with the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) at the National Aquaculture Center, Zomba, and with Bunda College, near Lilongwe. During year 2 an agreement was reached whereby two studies supported by the CRSP Kenya Project will be conducted in Malawi under the oversight of Dr. Daniel Jamu. One will be conducted at the National Aquaculture Center, and the second will be conducted at Bunda College. Work on the Zomba study began in May 2000.

Regional Outreach in Africa

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 5 (9ADR5)
Progress Report

Karen L. Veverica
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Bethuel Omolo
Sagana Fish Farm
Sagana, Kenya

James R. Bowman
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Abstract

The intent of the Kenya Project's regional outreach activity is to promote contact and communication among aquaculture research and extension personnel and organizations throughout the region. This is to be achieved mainly through participation at regional meetings, not only by presenting papers but also through participation in planning and organizing the meetings. It is hoped that such participation will help promote the dissemination of information emanating from PD/A CRSP research, help conference participants learn about fish culture practices and research priorities and activities in Kenya and in neighboring countries, and encourage the establishment of regional linkages among research and extension programs in the region. During the current reporting year Sagana Fish Farm and the CRSP hosted a meeting of the Aquaculture Committee of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme. The Kenya Project sponsored travel to several workshops and conferences, including a two-week study tour on agro-aquaculture in Malawi for then Sagana Head of Station B. Omolo; attendance at the LV2000 conference in Jinja, Uganda, for K. Veverica, J. Ngatuni (current Head of Station at Sagana), K. Kahareri, R. Mbaluka, and E. Were; and attendance at the IIFET 2000 conference "Microbehavior and Macroresults" by M. Muchiri, Head of the Department of Fisheries at Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, and a collaborator on several CRSP Kenya Project activities. Graduate student B. Meso presented information on the first season of the study "Use of Pond Effluents for Irrigation in an Integrated Crop/Aquaculture System" at the 25th Conference and Silver Jubilee of the Soil Science Society of East Africa, in Kampala, Uganda, and was awarded the prize for academic excellence and diversity in soil science at the university post-graduate level for his presentation. As it has for several years, the CRSP supported the participation of the Kenya Fisheries Department and Sagana Fish Farm in the Agriculture Society of Kenya's annual "Nairobi Show." Although the Fisheries Society of Africa (FISA) did not hold any conferences this year, Veverica continues to maintain contact with officers of that organization, which is headquartered in Nairobi.

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