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9ADR4-Establishment of Companion Sites in the Africa Region
PD/A CRSP Seventeenth Annual Technical Report
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Cite as: [Author(s), 2000. Title.] In: K. McElwee, D. Burke, M. Niles, X. Cummings, and H. Egna (Editors), Seventeenth Annual Technical Report. Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, [pp. ___.]

Establishment of Companion Sites in the Africa Region

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

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

Daniel Jamu
ICLARM/Malawi
National Aquaculture Center
Zomba, Malawi

Abstract

The establishment of one or more companion sites in the Africa Region was proposed as a way of verifying the results of CRSP research at its prime site and of expanding the regional effort of the CRSP by assisting with the conduct of needed research at other sites in the region. The objectives specifically listed for this effort in the Ninth Work Plan were: 1) to identify and establish one or more companion sites for the Africa Region and 2) to define and implement investigations at the companion site in support of PD/A CRSP and companion site goals. The first of these two objectives was to be achieved during the first year of the Ninth Work Plan. Sites previously identified for possible companion sites included Bunda College of Agriculture (Malawi), Kingolwira Aquaculture Center (Tanzania), and Akosombo Aquaculture Research and Development Center (Ghana), but investigation of additional sites could also be undertaken. During this first year of the Ninth Work Plan (late 1998 and 1999), discussions have focused on collaboration at sites in Malawi, resulting in a recent decision to propose companion site efforts in collaboration with ICLARM at the National Aquaculture Center (Zomba) and Bunda College, near Lilongwe

Introduction

The establishment of one or more companion sites in the Africa Region was proposed as a way of verifying the results of CRSP research at its prime site and of expanding the regional effort of the CRSP by assisting with the conduct of needed research at other sites in the region. The objectives specifically listed for this effort in the Ninth Work Plan were:

The goal for the first year under the Ninth Work Plan was to meet the first of these two objectives, i.e., to identify and establish at least one companion site in the region. The first investigation under this activity would be conducted during the second year.

Progress to Date

Discussions on the possibility of conducting companion site research in Malawi were begun when the sites at Bunda College and the National Aquaculture Center (NAC), managed by the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), were visited during site evaluation visits by Wayne Seim, Karen Veverica, Jim Bowman, and Tom Popma in 1995. Although several other possible sites have also been under consideration, these discussions have continued through the present time, both through personal visits and through email and telephone communications, and it was concluded that the initial companion site efforts are most likely to be successful if conducted in Malawi.

Recent (Spring 1999) discussions culminated in a visit by ICLARM/Malawi Project Leader Daniel Jamu to Sagana Fish Farm to meet with the CRSP US Principal Investigator, Karen Veverica, to consider a three-way collaboration between the PD/A CRSP Kenya Project, Bunda College, and ICLARM/Malawi. Several possible experiments were discussed and the protocols used in CRSP experiments were reviewed. A visit to Malawi by Veverica was considered unnecessary at this time because the companion site discussion has been going on quite some time between ICLARM staff and Bunda College representatives. On returning to Malawi, Dr. Jamu will consult with representatives from Bunda College and present a proposal for one or more experiments to the CRSP Africa Project.

Under the most likely arrangement, students from Bunda College will conduct research at the NAC, with much of the limited research funding going to student stipends. Working in Malawi under such an arrangement seems most suitable because:

Funds for companion site work become available in December 1999, and the first investigation can begin at that time. Contacts with other companion site candidates will be maintained, in the event that further funding is available.

Anticipated Benefits

Research at a companion site will address areas of research that are mutually useful, i.e., that will advance lines of investigation already being pursued by the CRSP and also address the needs of fish farmers in the vicinity of the companion site. Students in aquaculture programs will receive training through their involvement in the research. CRSP findings from prime sites may be verified under the differing conditions of the companion site, and performance testing of tilapia species or strains not present at the CRSP prime site can be undertaken. The CRSP Central Database will be broadened through the inclusion of data from additional sites in Africa. Companion site researchers will benefit from data collected during the course of experiments, and improved fish farming methods resulting from the experiments will be available for adoption by fish farmers in the area around the companion site. Ultimately, fish farmers in new areas will experience increased fish yields, and greater amounts of fish will be available for consumption in communities and markets in those areas.

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