AfDB Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Progress Report July to September 2020
- The Aquaculture Compact this quarter continues the use of virtual engagements to communicate with national partners in 12 countries (Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia) using e-meeting platforms on updates on implementation of Compact activities assigned during this quarter. Aquaculture compact also participated in the TAAT Virtual Supervision Mission to update AfDB officers, TAAT Project Management Unit (PMU) on status and achievement of physical implementation of the Compact across the participating countries. This was a two-week virtual meeting that concluded in a collaborative Aide Memoire. Two virtual training sessions for 60 feed millers in 12 countries on fish feed nutrition and formulation. The virtual training was focused on identification of quality feed ingredients, understanding nutrient requirement of fish feed ingredients, and feed formulation and production. Group discussions and knowledge sharing outputs were facilitated to discuss: (I) challenges faced by fish feed producers and (ii) to identify potential opportunities for feed producers for quality low-cost fish feed. The training was scheduled in two sessions. First session focused on Anglophone countries facilitated in English language while the second session on Francophone countries and facilitated in French language for effectiveness. The skill of 60 people was enhanced in fish feed and nutrition leading to increase in quality of feed produce and productivity. The Compact participated in a virtual meeting on Technology Adoption towards Enhancing Commercialization for Africa’s Agricultural Research Products organized by the Capacity Development Enabler FARA to present the Aquaculture technologies deployed in the 12 countries, commercialization process of the technology and scaling strategies. Aquaculture compact met with Ebele Integrated Farms Limited, a private limited liability owned by immediate past Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The farm produces catfish and tilapia for sale to the local market and its environs. It is located on 109 hectares at Wukara outskirt of Abuja Municipal close to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The meeting was aimed at seeking a strategic partnership with TAAT Aquaculture Compact for capacity building of staff and technical support towards scaling of technology so that the farm can serve as a demonstration and training facility for youth and local fish farmers in Nigeria. The compact participated in a virtual workshop with the Clearinghouse, and AFDB project team on Programme for Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PIDACC). The workshop presented an opportunity for all TAAT Compacts to link their technologies to an ongoing AFDB project in the Niger Basin and to form concrete partnership for technology dissemination. All program stakeholder were present and had an opportunity to hear from TAAT Compacts. The engagement serves as an opportunity to put into practical use some of the proven technologies validated in the past years at different locations and different countries in Africa. The workshop assisted to showcase TAAT activities under various commodities and to decide which technologies are appropriate for the PIDACC project and the way forward. In additional to the virtual engagements, through close follow up, partners adopted online and telephone communication with fish farmers as well as one on one extension service delivery as a means of providing technical support at country level for aquaculture value chain actors. 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. Funds from the Aquaculture Compact were used to purchase airtime and data. It should be noted however in most Aquaculture Compact implementation countries, lockdown and restriction are gradually being lifted. This allows national partners to carry out field visit and trainings within the countries by working amidst COVID-19 precaution and measures in accordance to the government direction but not in full operation. Additionally, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, reduced market access delayed harvests resulting in prolonged fish farming cycles. Some of the foreseen socio-economic impacts of these challenges are shown to lead to direct loss of income to the fish farmer thereby affecting the ability for the country to have adequate fish supply from local sources. Keeping fish over longer periods in ponds requires additional funds for feed and other farm management inputs which eat up into profits leading to loss in revenue. Due to the limited market and delayed harvests, farmers have felt the pressure on their pockets. Other impacts seen to farmers 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. As a result, 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 and packing material. 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.
- Sustainable aquaculture 
- Donor Report