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Honduras Project
PD/A CRSP Nineteenth Annual Administrative Report

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Research Projects
Honduras Project

Subcontract No. RD010A-16 (UG)
Subcontract No. RD010A-17 (AU)

Staff
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Brahm P. Verma US Principal Investigator, US Regional Coordinator
E. William TollnerUS Principal Investigator
Steven Arnold Undergraduate Student (February through June 2001)


Auburn University, Alabama

Joseph J. Molnar US Principal Investigator
Thomas PopmaUS Principal Investigator
Julian MontoyaUndergraduate Student (Colombia; from February 2001)
Abel CarriasUndergraduate Student (Belize; from January 2001)


Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras

Daniel Meyer Host Country Principal Investigator
Freddy AriasHost Country Principal Investigator
Suyapa Triminio de Meyer Research Assistant (from November 2000)
Hector LagosResearch Assistant
Juan Carlos Molina Undergraduate Student (through December 2000)
Jose Antonio Martinez Ayala Undergraduate Student (El Salvador; through December 2000)
Gloria Margarita MejíaUndergraduate Student (El Salvador; through December 2000)
Vivian Quan Undergraduate Student (through December 2000)
Flor QuispeUndergraduate Student (Ecuador; through December 2000)

Cooperators
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras

José A. Martínez Ayala

Auburn University, Alabama

Robert Nelson

Site Background

Honduras has been a PD/A CRSP host country since the program's inception in 1983, excluding a brief interruption from 1987 to 1988. In 1999, PD/A CRSP research in Honduras moved to a new site at the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano (Zamorano). A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Zamorano and the University of Georgia (UG) in October 1999; Auburn University (AU) is a collaborating US institution. Ninth Work Plan research in Honduras was largely focused on enhancing the existing aquaculture network.

Earlier CRSP research in Honduras established a network of relationships with aquaculture producers in the country. The current Honduras project has built on this experience, making use of the pool of trained individualsmany of them with previous CRSP involvementnow present there. In doing so, the Honduras project seeks to help Honduran tilapia farmers take better advantage of the strong potential for aquaculture in Honduras and to help ensure that small- and medium-scale aquaculture production in Honduras is successful in the long term. These efforts are addressed by strengthening institutional support for aquaculture in Honduras through a multidisciplinary approach.

Research under the Ninth Work Plan largely focuses on adoption and diffusion of aquaculture technologies. Several topics addressed the needs of small- and medium-scale farmers, who are faced with inadequate land, fingerling supply, and extension contact. Research helped identify needs and approaches to working with small- and medium-scale farmers. Research also focused on the collaborative process undertaken by those assisting farmers. The use of the Internet as a means of providing information to aid in decision-making was the focus of another investigation. Additional research will examine placement of hillside ponds as they relate to the hillslope and watershed characteristics; hillside pond systems are most often employed by marginalized populations such as small-scale, family farmers.

Work Plan Research

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

Note: 9ATR2, 9ADR7, 9ADR8, 9ADR9, and 9ADR10 were approved after publication of the Ninth Work Plan. The work plans for these investigations appear in the Addendum to the Ninth Work Plan. The investigations listed above are collaborative projects between UG and AU. The results of 9ADR9 and 9ADR10 have been combined into one report.

Networking

CRSP activities provided opportunities for researchers from Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (Zamorano) to visit government facilities, such as the El Carao Fish Culture Station in Comayagua, and interact with government technicians.

Meyer and Arias established a collaborative relationship with George Pilz, Department of Soils, Zamorano, who will cooperate in an evaluation of water resources in Honduras.

The Honduras CRSP Project was represented at the three-day exhibition and fair held by Red para Comercialización Comunitaria Alternativa (Red-COMAL) in Tegucigalpa in November 2000. An estimated 1,000 people visited the display and exhibition of live fish and documents from the CRSP and other sources.

José Falck-Zepeda, a postdoctoral student working with CRSP researcher Upton Hatch from Auburn University, traveled to Honduras. There he met with CRSP researchers Tollner and Molnar, providing translation and guidance for their work as well as conducting some analysis for Hatch's CRSP-funded economics project.

Zamorano staff members have contacted Taiwanese and other international technicians working in aquaculture in Honduras.

The researchers received a request from an aquaculturist in Brazil regarding pond design.

Joe Molnar traveled to both Santa Barbara and the Danli area of Honduras, where he visited such organizations as Project Globale, Red de Desarrollo Sostenible–Honduras (RDS-HN), and a number of other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Researchers published 500 copies of a newsletter reporting on Zamorano aquaculture activities, Acua-Noticias Zamorano, in February 2001.

Honduras Project participants were involved in the planning and organization of the 6th Central American Symposium on Aquaculture to be held on 22 to 24 August 2001. Meyer traveled to the University of Georgia in March 2001 to help complete organization plans for the sessions. A special session was planned to highlight CRSP contributions to extension and development, with the project inviting and sponsoring several invited speakers to present topics of interest at the event. They also collaborated on the planning of the editing and publishing of the tilapia session proceedings.

Educational Outreach

The CRSP Honduras team developed and published the 37-page booklet "Producción de tilapia en fincas integradas utilizando insumos de bajo costo" (Production of tilapia on integrated farms using low-cost inputs) by Dan Meyer and Suyapa Meyer. The content of the booklet was evaluated in June 2001 by a group of eight local farmers with experience in tilapia culture, two extension agents, and several Zamorano staff members prior to publication, and the researchers are distributing copies of the pamphlet to NGOs and other interested parties. In July 2001, 750 copies of the publication were produced for distribution.

Meyer and Lagos used information derived from CRSP research to train a group of 20 private tilapia farmers at the El Cajón dam in Northern Honduras. The week-long training session included field visits to farms and cage culture projects in Honduras.

The CRSP researchers have planned a training program for Project Globale in Santa Barbara, Honduras.

Tom Popma incorporated CRSP findings into a one-week course on principles of aquaculture and water quality management at Can Tho University in Vietnam.

Meyer gave a graduate seminar on aquaculture in Central America at the University of Georgia. Meyer has also used a great amount of information and experimental results from CRSP activities in his academic course on aquaculture (4 credits), which is offered as an elective course to the 115 third-year students enrolled in the class at Zamorano.

Publications

Martínez, J.A., 2000. Socioeconomic characterization of farmers with and without a system of tilapia production in Honduras. B.S. thesis, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras. (in Spanish)
Mejía, G.M., 2000. Study of the production costs for culture of tilapia on small and medium farms in five departments of Honduras. B.S. thesis, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras. (in Spanish)
Molina, J.C., 2000. Study of the actual and potential demand for tilapia in five secondary cities in Honduras. B.S. thesis, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras. (in Spanish)
Quan, Vivian, 2000. Evaluation of the reproduction of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in plastic and concrete lined and earthen ponds. B.S. thesis, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras. (in Spanish)
Quispe, F., 2000. Evaluation of the production costs for tilapia fingerlings in Honduras. B.S. thesis, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Honduras. (in Spanish)
Verma, B., J. Renew, E.W. Tollner, T. Popma, J.L. Molnar, and D. Meyer, 2000. Concurrent design of hillside ponds for tilapia production. In: K. Fitzsimmons and J. Carvalho Filho (Editors), Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Tilapia Aquaculture. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp. 311–315.

Conferences

Fifth International Symposium on Tilapia Aquaculture at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2–7 September 2000. (Meyer, Verma)
Aquaculture America 2001 at Orlando, Florida, 21–25 January 2001. (Meyer, Molnar, Popma)
PD/A CRSP Annual Meeting at Orlando, Florida, 26 January 2001. (Meyer, Molnar, Popma, Tollner, Verma)

Linkages of Aquaculture within Watersheds and Concurrent Design of Hillside Ponds

Ninth Work Plan, Appropriate Technology Research 2 (9ATR2)
Final Report

Ernest W. Tollner and Brahm P. Verma
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia, USA

Joseph Molnar
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Tom Popma
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Abstract

The hillsides in Latin America cover about one million square kilometers and provide livelihood for some 200 million people. Nearly one-half of this population is classified as "poor." There is a possibility of introducing tilapia production to the hillside regions in Latin America for improving nutrition of farm families and local communities and for providing a means of additional income. The objective of this paper is to present a levee pond design model for NGO personnel to use as they assist local producers. The model resides on the Excel® platform. The model is based on a monthly volume balance. The model enables iterative computation of the inflow needed to balance seepage and net evaporation. One can also determine the pump-in and pump-out rates needed to reach a target volume change rate per month. The model also includes an empirical spillway design.

Decision Support for Policy Development: Planning Conferences for Collaborating Researchers, Public Agencies, and Nongovernmental Organizations Working in Aquaculture

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 7 (9ADR7)
Final Report

Brahm P. Verma
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia, USA

Daniel Meyer
Department of Biology
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano
Zamorano, Honduras

Tom Popma
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Joseph J. Molnar
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

E. William Tollner
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia, USA

Abstract

The project focused on identifying and developing methods to create an enabling environment for sustainable development of aquaculture in Honduras. Honduras has a large network of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating at the village level, an exceptional educational institution in Zamorano with commitment to extend training and knowledge in aquaculture, and an established in-country sustainable-development electronic network operated by Red de Desarrollo Sostenible–Honduras (RDS-HN). We developed the concept of training the trainers (NGOs working with farmers at the village level) by bringing together Zamorano and RDS-HN and developing a Web-based Information Delivery System for Tilapia (WIDeST). In this approach WIDeST captures the already-developed electronic information technology network and capacity of RDS-HN while providing easy-to-use information developed by Zamorano. Furthermore, it provides a way to connect local NGOs, farmers, and decision-makers so they can exchange information and make informed decisions. The WIDeST provides information on tilapia production and related topics, natural resources of Honduras, contact information for NGOs, and chat-room facilities for conducting virtual forums and discussions. The email facility enables the user to ask questions and get answers from an expert. Since its inauguration session in March 2001, the website has had more than 6,800 hits, and more than 300 individuals have formally registered to receive information. The participants at training and workshop sessions have found this to be an easy and useful approach, and they have provided strong encouragement for adding new information. The number of individuals already reached, as evidenced from the numbers of visits to the website, strongly indicates that this may be a way to build the capacity of local institutions to develop an environment that enables farmers to adopt aquaculture as an alternative on their farms.

Production Strategies Characterizing Small- and Medium-Scale Tilapia Farms

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 8 (9ADR8)
Final Report

José A. Martínez Ayala
Department of Agribusiness
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana
Zamorano, Honduras

Joseph J. Molnar
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Freddy Arias
Department of Agribusiness
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana
Zamorano, Honduras

Tom Popma
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Abstract

This report examines samples of farms from Honduras departments that have and do not have tilapia ponds as part of their farming systems. Data were obtained through personal interviews with 128 farmers, including 64 tilapia producers, in five departments: Olancho, Intibuca, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, and Santa Bárbara.

To obtain information about farms without tilapia, farmers were selected at random from within the same community as the identified tilapia producers. Interviews were conducted in communities where the small-scale farmers with production of tilapia were located. The data are intended to constitute a representative sample of the population of the Honduran small-scale aquaculture farmers in these departments. The analysis presents basic comparisons of landholding, farm, and personal characteristics of tilapia producers with the mirror sample of the farmers without tilapia. The analysis profiles basic differences between the two categories of farms, the operators, and their households. Younger farmers were more likely to become involved with tilapia farming. Those farmers more dedicated to their work inside their farm from which they obtain all their income, and whose principal occupation is farming, were more inclined to adopt farming of tilapia. Farmers who use their land more intensively and who dedicate themselves more to the farming of basic grains were more likely to adopt the farming of tilapia. Since Honduran small-scale farmers tend to be a depressed segment economically, they tend to satisfy first their subsistence necessities by maximizing the use of their resources. The financing for both tilapia growers and nongrowers tends to be a limiting factor because more than 80% of the population work without financing, a clear barrier to farm investments. Tilapia growers participated more in development projects.

Technical Assistance for Fingerling Production Serving Small- and Medium-Scale Tilapia Producers and Training and Technical Assistance for Honduras Institutions Working with Small- and Medium-Scale Tilapia Producers

Ninth Work Plan, Adoption/Diffusion Research 9 and 10 (9ADR9 and 10)
Final Report

Thomas J. Popma
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Daniel E. Meyer
Department of Biology
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano
Zamorano, Honduras

Abstract

A central issue for aquacultural development in Honduras is fingerling supply. Previous PD/A CRSP research reported that farmers in remote places found that fingerlings were difficult to obtain but did not consider this sufficient reason for withdrawing from fish farming. The Zamorano principal investigator and his technician in this project confirmed that the Comayagua research station El Carao was not a reliable supplier of fingerlings for area producers. Private fingerling producers are few and generally geared to supply large-scale commercial operations. The overriding objective of activity 9ADR9 was to provide technical assistance and training to current and potential fingerling suppliers to small- and medium-scale tilapia producers in Honduras.

A Peace Corps program of technical support to fish farmers was possibly the most focused on-farm assistance to small-scale fish farmers in Honduras, but this program ended in 1995. The national extension program in aquaculture has a presence in many regions, but the effort is fragmented and underfunded. A number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been active in rural development, including several active fish farming projects, but expertise in this activity is often insufficient to provide critical technical information required for productive pond management.

In November 1999 we consulted with 13 representatives of national and international, government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). From these consultations a strategy and timetable were developed for implementing technical assistance and training for fingerling suppliers and technicians working with NGOs currently or potentially involved in small- and medium-scale fish culture development. At least 33 small- and medium-scale tilapia producers (each with 150 to 12,000 m2 of water surface) and 26 restaurants were subsequently interviewed to assess the production and marketing demands for tilapia in Honduras. With the collaboration of a local NGO, representatives of NGOs with actual or potential interest in aquaculture development were invited to a one-day seminar to describe opportunities and constraints for family-scale fish culture in Honduras. The Zamorano team continues to identify and provide technical assistance to regional fingerling producers and organizations involved in aquaculture extension. During the life of this activity, three technical workshops were provided for actual and prospective fingerling producers and extensionists. More than 30 publications on fingerling production and pond management practices have been incorporated in a web-based information system developed by a local NGO, primarily in response to the needs of local NGOs.


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