In a recent mission to Indonesia, researchers from Animal breeding and Genomics Centre provided support and training to managers of local aquaculture breeding programs. During a one week course, twenty staff members from ten different research stations across Indonesia were trained on breeding program design and management. Opportunities for further improvement were identified from an in depth review of one of the breeding programs.
Aquaculture in Indonesia is a rapidly growing sector that has a major contribution to food security. For this reason, the Indonesian government considers aquaculture as one of its strategic spearheads and explicitly aims to further increase production. Selective breeding is part of the strategy to achieve that. At several government institutions, basic structures for breeding programs are already in place, but advanced knowledge of selective breeding is lacking. As part of the project ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security in Indonesia’ (FAFI), financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ABGC provides training in breeding program design and genetic analysis, and provides technical support to local breeding programs.
During a one week course, participants got acquainted with basic design considerations of a breeding program. By means of lectures and practical exercises, they learned about definition of the breeding goal, mating designs, response to selection, and control of inbreeding. As participants improved their understanding of these concepts, they learned how to apply them to their own breeding program. Breeding programs were designed for African catfish, local catfish, giant gourami, Nile tilapia, pacific white shrimp, and common carp.
The second part of the mission concerned a thorough review of the breeding program for African catfish at one of the government institutions in Sukamandi. In this breeding program, growth performance has already increased by about 60% over three generations. Implementation of further improvements recommended by ABGC will secure continued genetic improvement at an even faster rate, while rate of inbreeding is controlled. A trial to improve robustness of African catfish has been initiated. If successful, selection for robustness may become part of the breeding program.