Interest Grows in Tilapia Farming

‘This is an area that we are working towards seeing that the effects of climate change are slowly seeping in’
05 May 2019 01:54
Interest Grows in Tilapia Farming
Ministry of Fisheries staff take part in a demonstration as part of the training programme at Vunisea Village in Ra. Photo: Ministry of Fisheries

Interest in tilapia farming has grown with the recent three days training held at Vunisea Village in the Tokaimalo district in Ra Province.

The training, which was funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and implemented by Conservation International (CI) through the facilitation of officers from the Ministry of Fisheries, is aimed at creating food security and income-generating projects for communities in the rural areas.

Speaking to the 29 participants during the closing ceremony, Chief Fisheries Development Officer in the Ministry of Fisheries George Madden said it was quite encouraging to see the enthusiasm and interest shown by the participants who came from as far as Nabuobuco in Naitasiri Province.

Mr Madden challenged the participants to follow through with starting their own tilapia farms.

“With all the knowledge gained during the three-day training, you really need to get serious about tilapia as a source of protein as well as livelihood,” said Mr Madden.

“Government is trying its best to put together aquaculture programmes and training, so that more people become involved in aquaculture.

“Let us help to grow aquaculture in Fiji and help in feeding the country so as to lessen the pressure on our reef systems.”

Conservation International Manager for Terrestrial Protected Area Eliki Senivasa said the training was a timely one seeing that they would like to build on protecting the Greater Tomaniivi Reserve by creating options for the villages.

“This is an area that we are working towards seeing that the effects of climate change are slowly seeping in.

“We need to create alternative livelihoods for the communities so that they are able to have food security as well as a means to earning income,” explained Mr Senivasa.

“So far, we have carried out poultry farming training and we have a village in Ra that is now running their own poultry farm.

“Some villages have opted for beekeeping and the rest have opted for tilapia farming, hence the training that has been completed today.

“We need to communicate and through the formation of the Greater Tomaniivi Tilapia Farmers Cluster, more information will be exchanged through the members ensuring that we are all on par with the developments of our tilapia farms,” he added.

Cl is working with local communities and landowners in the provinces of Naitasiri and Ra who are stakeholders in the FAO-funded Greater Tomaniivi Protected Area (GTPA) project.

In turn, CI is providing alternative livelihood training for them to be substituted for the income that they generate from foraging or fishing in the rivers and streams in the protected areas.

This training and project falls under CI’s Terrestrial Programme.

The Ministry of Fisheries will continue to conduct training for interested tilapia farmers.

Members of the public are advised to seek further advice from the ministry before venturing into tilapia farming so that they learn of the various processes that need to be followed to ensure sustainable tilapia farming.

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