AfDB Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Progress Report April to June 2020
- The COVID-19 pandemic affected some of the planned activities of Aquaculture Compact for this reporting period especially in the targeted countries due to lockdown, restriction of movement at country level as well as local and international travel ban. The Aquaculture Compact adopted virtual meetings to communicate with national partners in 10 countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and ) using e-meeting platforms to interact with the partners on update and effect of COVID-19 pandemic on implementation of outlined activities during this quarter. Providing technical support for aquaculture value chain actors, the partners adopted online and telephone communication with fish farmers as well as one on one extension service delivery. The latter delivery was more effective but required more investment in terms of time and capital compared to providing group/cluster extension support to farmers at this period due to social distancing. Fund from the Aquaculture Compact was used to purchase air time and data. During this pandemic period, value chain actors encountered a lot of challenges. Markets were not opened throughout the quarter for fish sales and access to production inputs, such as feeds, fingerlings, and feed ingredients. These had become limited in supply as well as high cost of transportation of fish and fisheries products. Reduced market access delayed harvest resulting to prolonged fish farming cycles. Some of the socio-economic impacts are that it will lead to direct losses of income to the fish farmer and affect the ability for the country to supply the fish from local sources. It is important to note that keeping fish longer in ponds require additional funds for feed and other farm management inputs which eat up into profits leading to loss in revenue. Other impacts include reduced consumer demand as a result of reduced purchasing power. Market prices of catfish and tilapia have also significantly reduced in majority of the countries. Job losses are experienced along aquaculture value chains as some fish farmers are laying off farm workers. Fish processors are challenged with low consumer demand for smoked fish and increasing processing cost due to increasing price of spices, packing material, etc. They are also confronted with the problem of losing their markets due to their inability to transport or delays in transporting their products out of their operational locations and states. Stocking fish in ponds after the lockdown will require fingerlings, feed and other inputs. But fish farmers have encountered challenges in selling their fish products during the lockdown without profit, thereby leading to loss of income. Therefore, they are wondering how long they can continue fish production without financial support after the lockdown is lifted. However, the Aquaculture Compact wrote 4 technology extension manuals and fish recipes from 12 African countries using the FARA (Capacity Building Enabler) guidelines. Extension manuals developed during this reporting period are currently being reviewed by the WorldFish scientists. Both hard and soft copies of the extension manuals will be given to the TAAT Communication Unit after they have been published. The Aquaculture Compact’s 2020 workplan was revised according to donor guideline. Fingerling production in demonstration centres was low during this reporting period due to winter weather condition in some countries like Zambia. May, June and July are off fish breeding season. Therefore, collection of tilapia eggs and fry reduced. Tilapia breeding season resumes August 30 and fish farmers collect fingerlings (1.2-2g) September ending for stocking. Additional 1,143,051 of improved fingerlings from demonstration centres were produced in Zambia and Ghana. The compact also had a virtual Introductory meeting with the newly appointed Head of TAAT Clearinghouse currently based in Rwanda until the travel restrictions are lifted. Activities affected were shifted to third quarter hoping that the lockdown will be lifted in all of the compact targeted countries.
- Sustainable aquaculture 
- Donor Report