Publications

Review and analysis of small-scale aquaculture production in East Africa : Part 3. Tanzania

Heijden, P.G.M. van der; Shoko, Amon P.; Duijn, A.P. van; Rurangwa, E.; Bolman, B.

Summary

This report describes the findings of a literature study and of interviews with fish farmers and key informants familiar with the Tanzanian freshwater aquaculture sector. The study was part of an assignment commissioned by Msingi East Africa. The report was developed in collaboration with Stichting BoP Innovation Centre. Msingi is an East African industry development organisation. It aims to support the growth of competitive industries in the region. Aquaculture has been selected as the first East African industry to support among strategic industries in which East Africa has a comparative advantage. Msingi supports their growth through investment and technical assistance to pioneer businesses; this is complemented by wider support to the sector, such as on policy, technology transfer, research and development, human capacity building or support to key sector organisations.The Tanzanian freshwater aquaculture sector consists of roughly 19,000 small-scale farmers operating one or a few small ponds stocked with tilapia and/or catfish. Fish are fed in most cases with agricultural by-products and residues that are available on the farm. For most producers, fish farming is a part-time activity besides other sources of income. A small but growing number of farmers have specialised and are applying commercial fish feeds and are reaching higher levels of production. Total annual freshwater fish production of Tanzania is estimated to be 5000 metric tonnes. In the last years a growth of production is reported to take place as result of existing farms expanding and new farms being established. Part of the new farms use floating cages placed in Lake Victoria and Lake Kumba. All farmed fish is sold on the Tanzanian market, mostly as fresh, whole fish. Lack of capital and finance opportunities, a shortage of affordable commercial fish feeds, a shortage of fingerlings (fish seeds) of good quality and a lack of knowledge among farmers about improved aquaculture practices, farm management and a business–like approach to fish farming have been identified as major bottlenecks for growth of production of the small-scale producers. Recommendations for action that would address these bottlenecks are given in this report.