Small-scale aquaculture producers can access inputs, improve production and connect successfully with more remunerative markets by means of collective actions. This course will focus on empowerment and professionalization of fish farmers’ business organisations, with responsible and inclusive growth of the aquaculture sector as main objective.
Empowering fish farmers’ business organizations
A sector on the rise.
On a global scale aquaculture has shown a steady growth in the past decades. The amount of fish and other seafood products for direct human consumption resulting from aquaculture is equal to the amount supplied by capture fisheries. Besides from an increasing world population, the global demand for fish or aquatic products is also driven by a growing awareness of the positive impact of consumption of fish and other aquatic products on human health due to the presence of unsaturated fatty acids, micro-nutrients and high protein level. In Europe and North America the local production and supply of fishery products are not sufficient to meet the demand. Fish and other seafood have become very important export commodities for Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand and other countries. Especially in East, South and S.E. Asia aquaculture is a well-established and fast growing sector; these regions together contribute 88% to the global aquaculture production (FAO, 2014).
Fish farmers as partners in agribusiness
Small fish farms constitute the majority of the world’s small and medium aquaculture enterprises. This course perceives fish farmers as autonomous entrepreneurs (and not as target groups or beneficiaries), and their organisations as aquaculture business supporters. The central question is how fish farmers, through collective action of their organisations, can better access inputs and credit, improve their production and yields in a sustainable way, manage the costs and quality of their products, create value through post-harvest operations and access more remunerative markets.
Main subjects in the course
- State-of-the-art of aquaculture: drivers, trends, challenges and opportunities;
- Position of small-scale aquaculture producers: perspectives and challenges;
- Obtaining the required inputs and finance;
- Producing the planned product volume and quality in a responsible way;
- Creating value and access to markets;
- Relations with public and private actors that have a direct or indirect stake in aquaculture sector development;
- The role of aquaculture producer organizations in terms of service provision for members and business partners;
- The challenges for the management and performance of aquaculture producer organizations;
- Development of aquaculture small producer-inclusive programs.
The course will be organized in cooperation with private companies and is to be held in Wageningen, the Netherlands.