|PD/A CRSP Twentieth Annual Administrative Report
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Subcontract No. RD010E-16 (AU)
Subcontract No. RD010E-17 (UG)
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
|Brahm P. Verma||US Principal Investigator|
|E. William Tollner||US Principal Investigator|
|Tom Popma||US Technical Support|
|Joseph J. Molnar||US Principal Investigator|
|Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo||Graduate Student (Costa Rica)|
|Pablo Martinez-Mejia||Graduate Student (Honduras)|
|Julian Montoya||Undergraduate Student (Colombia; partially CRSP funded)|
|Daniel E. Meyer||Host Country Principal Investigator|
|Freddy Arias||Host Country Principal Investigator|
|George Pilz||Research Associate|
|Suyapa Triminio de Meyer||Research Assistant|
|Hector Lagos||Research Assistant|
This subcontract was awarded funding to conduct the following Tenth Work Plan investigations:
Note: The Honduras Project, Institutionalizing Small- and Medium-Scale Aquacultural Development in Latin America: Case Studies, Water Supply Analysis and Information Transfer, is a collaborative effort among University of Georgia, Auburn University, and the host country partner.
Arias, F., J. Molnar, B. Esquivel, F.M. Quispe, J.A. Martinez, and G.M. Mejia, 2001. Production and marketing strategies used by small- and medium-scale producers in Honduras. Presented to the Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001.
Meyer, D., 2001. Nutrition and feeding of tilapia. Proceedings of the Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture, Annual Meeting of the Asociacion de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001, pp. 6170.
Molnar, J., E. Trejos, P. Martinez, B. Verma, E.W. Tollner, S. Triminio, and D. Meyer, 2002. Advancing aquacultural development through the third sector: Advantages and liabilities of NGO networks for technology transfer in Honduras. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Boston, Massachusetts, 15 February 2002.
Popma, T. and D. Meyer, 2001. Training and technical assistance in warm-water fish culture. Proceedings of the Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture, Annual Meeting of the Asociacion de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001, pp. 118125.
Tollner, E.W., 2001. Levee pond design model. Proceedings of the Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture, Annual Meeting of the Asociacion de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001, pp. 116117.
Verma, B.P., D. Meyer, T. Popma, J. Molnar, and E.W. Tollner, 2001. Web-based information delivery system for tilapia for sustainable development of aquaculture in Honduras. Proceedings of the Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture, Annual Meeting of the Asociacion de Acuicultores de Honduras (ANDAH) and the Global Aquaculture Alliance, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001, pp. 126134.
Aquacultural Stakeholders Meeting at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 21 August 2001. (Meyer)
Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2224 August 2001. (Meyer, Molnar, Tollner, Popma, Verma)
PD/A CRSP Annual Meeting at San Diego, California, 31 January 2002. (Tollner, Molnar)
Latin American and the Caribbean Region Expert Panel Meeting at San Diego, California, 1 February 2002. (Triminio de Meyer, Molnar)
World Aquaculture 2002 at Beijing, China, 2327 April 2002. (Meyer)
The modeling effort was separated into water supply feasibility and economics phases. Excel®-based models were developed for evaluating feasibility and costs of levee ponds and hillside ponds. The difference between the levee pond and the hillside pond in this report is that the levee pond must be supplied by pipe and the hillside pond may capture runoff from surrounding areas. The hillside pond is intended to supply water for a variety of uses including fish production. The levee pond is the primary containment for fish production. Levee and hillside ponds are of similar construction.
The feasibility of a levee pond size in a given area was evaluated by determining the peak, average, and minimum monthly water balance. The model predicts the supply flow-rate required to maintain a full pond given the pond surface area, depth, and climate variables (evaporation, seepage, and precipitation) in the region.
The hillside pond model evaluates the feasibility of developing a sustainable pond with springs and surface water runoff. Placing a watershed pond in the main runoff conveyance is likely not feasible due to steep valley slopes. A diversion structure may be designed to capture nearly all of the runoff during dry months and a small fraction of the runoff during the rainy season. Water in this pond may be used for a variety of uses including fish pond supply. The Excel®-based model performs a water balance, as with the levee pond, with the addition of runoff prediction from the watershed above the pond.
Future goals include completing the Spanish translation of the models. We also plan to move the models to a more friendly web-enabled platform. The main disadvantage of using any package for model development is that the user must have the package. Using a common spreadsheet such as Excel® probably minimizes the disadvantage. Another disadvantage of the Excel® platform is that substantial programming is required to move the models to geographic regions. Moving the models to a web-enabled platform will enable us to jettison the Excel® platform and use a more conventional programming platform that can be placed on a central server and accessed via the web from various locations.
Our technical training and outreach activities to build a nongovernmental organization (NGO) and institutional network for aquaculture development in Central American countries have encouraged interest and promoted a dynamic dialog between our project team members and those with whom we have interacted.
We have locally and regionally trained various NGO extension agents, government officials, womens groups, and college and high school students in the fundamentals of tilapia culture as a tool for rural development activities. Connections have also been forged with other training organizations that will extend our aquaculture network. New relationships have developed as we plan and organize our two four-day workshops for extension agents in El Salvador and Nicaragua in October 2002.
We have trained NGO extension agents in the use of our Web-based Information Delivery System for Tilapia (WIDeST) that provides information and assistance for decision-making processes for small- and medium-scale fish farmers. We have structured sessions to obtain user feedback so that we may better understand our target web audience and how they approach our site and interactive aquaculture models related to this work plan contained therein. We will structure additional sessions with users regarding our sites redesign as part of the October 2002 workshops. We have also identified additional web production support from the host country institution, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, Zamorano, Honduras.
We spent considerable time reworking information available on our site and preparing new documents particularly structured for web delivery. This included rewriting documents and producing new information in both English and Spanish. New information for implementing and providing technical assistance to rural farmers includes low-cost inputs for raising water temperature at elevations above 600 m and methods to protect fish from predatory birds.
We believe that our efforts are contributing significantly to strengthening institutional capabilities in Central America.
Countries with predominantly small- and medium-scale farms, poor infrastructure for transportation and communication, and limited material resources have large populations with marginal economic income. Lack of ability to receive this information, which can lead to creative alternatives for economic development, is a major impediment to making informed decisions. Thus, foreign capacity-building interventions giving technical assistance end up being temporary fixes. The challenge is to conceptualize ways by which small-scale farmers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and decision-makers in host countries can easily find usable data and knowledge and develop the know-how to use the information for decision-making. These abilities will institutionalize host countries capacity for economic development and free them of their dependence on others.
The work in this project has focused on developing an integrated framework that supports a systematic method of creating partnerships and communication among stakeholders and builds decision-making capacity locally. The target group is the small- and medium-scale farmers. This is being accomplished by developing a user-friendly Web-based Information Delivery System for Tilapia (WIDeST) and using it to coalesce Escuela Agrícola Panamericana El Zamorano, local NGOs and extension agents, and the US universities in partnerships. The WIDeST is central to workshop and training sessions for training the host country trainers who will extend to small- and medium-scale farmers. This way we are training the trainers both in the methods of tilapia production and use and in the methods by which to receive new information.
We have taken a systems approach by identifying and connecting all components in tilapia production systems in a logical way. The system model outlines and classifies types of variations in the components and provides a way to collect information related to each component in all stages of fish production. Economic and marketing information is being sought to be included in the model. This approach provides the framework for organizing the content of the website.
Organization of tilapia culture information that is usable by extension agents and NGOs to train small- and medium-scale farmers is critical to the success of this approach. We have trained host country NGOs in user-oriented information design for an international web audience. Marco Aleman and Suyapa Meyer, both from Zamorano, have received training. They now evaluate and produce modifications for the website (WIDeST). These modifications include preparing the website for the training workshops scheduled in Nicaragua and El Salvador in October 2002.
Information on tilapia culture is being contextualized to capture questions of small- and medium-scale farmers. Questions from each farmer will potentially be different. The web-based approach makes it easy to present multivariate information and links that are versatile. The most important aspect of this is that information is made available to those who should be making decisions. This gives them a chance to make informed decisions by using a systemic process and therefore develop many alternatives.
Overall, this work is contributing to diminish dependence of small- and medium-scale farmers on technical assistance from outside sources, as the web-based approach will enable host country NGOs and private firms to provide services and technical assistance locally.
Aquaculture plays an identifiable role in helping rural Hondurans achieve food and income security, but there is a need for better understanding of how aquaculture works at the village level. Lessons learned from actual circumstances where tilapia culture is a regularized component of local farming systems could provide realistic guidance for the network of national and regional institutions dedicated to advancing aquacultural development. Another constituency for this information lays in the broader aggregate of agencies and organizations that feature aquaculture as one component in their array of development interventions. Understanding gained from case studies of successful clusters of practicing fish farmers can contribute to the goal of better directing aquacultures inclusion in current and future integrated community development initiatives. Case studies in selected communities that have experiences with aquacultural development are being developed based on reviews of available documents, interviews with officials, extended conversations with fish farmers, and other sources of information. Because aquacultural development may operate in different ways in different regions, an attempt has been made to choose locations that are geographically dispersed and represent diversity in rainfall and elevation. Both locations (Olancho and Santa Barbara, Honduras) have known clusters of successful tilapia producers, yet they represent contrasting physical and social settings for aquacultural development. A cattle and forestry area, Olancho represents somewhat lower elevations, broad valleys, and low mountains. The Olancho case study profiles a cluster of 12 medium-scale producers. The case study describes the resources utilized, production system implemented, commercialization channels, production budget, and production cost curve. A coffee-producing region, Santa Barbara represents conditions of higher elevations, shaper valleys, and more evenly distributed rainfall. A higher proportion of the population of Santa Barbara is descended from indigenous peoples. The Santa Barbara study focuses on two locales (El Mosquito and Las Vegas), communities where many small-scale producers have repeatedly cultured tilapia for an extended period of time, some for more than a decade.
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