Aquaculture CRSP 21st Annual Technical Report
Regionalizing Training and Technical Assistance for Nongovernmental Organizations
Tenth Work Plan, Appropriate Technology Research 1 (10ATR1)
Agricultural Production and Science
Escuela Agricola Panamericana
Brahm P. Verma, E. William Tollner, and Jennifer Maldonado
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
The University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia, USA
Joseph J. Molnar
Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
Auburn, Alabama, USA
During the period 1 September 2001 through 30 June 2003, we trained a total of 807 individuals in the fundamentals of tilapia biology and culture. This was accomplished by holding 21 training events in four countries in Central America during the 22 months of Work Plan 10 (WP10).
We developed and published (2,500 copies printed) a manual on “Production of tilapia on integrated farms utilizing low-cost inputs.” To date we have distributed more than 1,700 copies of this manual in the region. We also published (500 copies) and distributed the “Acua-Noticias Zamorano” newsletter. This manual was transferred to a flipchart for use in communities where no electricity is available.
In March 2003, we published a training manual on the practical aspects of aquaculture. The manual contains much information derived from Aquaculture CRSP sponsored research. The manual has proven useful in our varied aquaculture training activities.
We have formulated questionnaires and begun a survey of fish farms and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) utilizing fish culture in their rural development programs. At present, we have information in our electronic database for approximately 300 fish farms and 20 NGOs operating in Honduras.
We have established new linkages and strengthened others through our work on WP10. New linkages have been formed between Zamorano and Ave Maria College (Nicaragua), San Carlos University (Guatemala), and several NGOs (Action Against Hunger, Honduras Outreach, Program of Rural Reconstruction).
There is a high potential for developing aquaculture in Central America (Kapetsky and Nath, 1997). One limitation to attaining this potential is the general inability of local institutions to adequately support aquaculture development through extension programs, training, applied research, and providing assistance in identifying and accessing markets (Veverica and Molnar, 1997).
For small and medium-scale farmers, fish culture can pro
vide inexpensive animal protein to supplement the family diet and additional income to contribute to improving the economic status of rural families. The CRSP has generated valuable and extensive information for successfully culturing tilapia in rural settings with low-cost inputs (Green et al., 1994).
Fish culture is still not a part of traditional agriculture production systems in Latin America. An effective extension program in fish culture requires a long-term commitment to