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Communiqué - Expert Consultative Workshop to Formulate Guidelines for Developing Aquaculture Business Models and Enhancing Extension Services

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© 2017 AU-IBAR. Expert Consultative Workshop to Formulate Guidelines for Developing Aquaculture Business Models and Enhancing Extension Services, Mensvic Hotel, Accra, Ghana 24th to 25th July, 2017.© 2017 AU-IBAR. Expert Consultative Workshop to Formulate Guidelines for Developing Aquaculture Business Models and Enhancing Extension Services, Mensvic Hotel, Accra, Ghana 24th to 25th July, 2017.Introduction

A consultative workshop to Formulate Guidelines for Developing Aquaculture Business Models and Enhancing Aquaculture Extension Services was jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the NEPAD Agency in collaboration with the Government of Ghana with support from the European Union from the 24th to 25th July, 2017 in Accra Ghana.
The objectives of the consultative meeting were to: (a) Review and identify the key constraints and factors of success for commercial aquaculture and the provision of extension services for aquaculture in Africa. (b) Deliberate on the requirements for developing aquaculture value-chains and subsequently appropriate business models with matching extension guidelines to support sustainable development of commercial aquaculture value-chain(s) in Africa.
The consultative meeting was attended by 45 participants representing 19 African Union Member States: Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Regional Economic Communities (RECs) present were ECOWAS and IGAD. The participants comprised private sector, public sector, research and academia, together with representatives of the AFRM Aquaculture Working Group and Trade Working Group. Dr. Simplice Nouala, the Head of the Animal Production Unit at AU-IBAR, on behalf of the Director AU-IBAR welcomed the participants to the workshop. In his remarks, he provided the participants with a brief overview of the purpose of the workshop emphasizing the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa policy objective to promote market-led sustainable aquaculture development on the continent. Consequently there was a need to guide the aquaculture sub-sector in this direction. Accomplishing this goal strongly hinged upon providing stakeholders with the appropriate knowledge and skills to adopt and implement business rather than subsistence approach for aquaculture.


The participant’s expectations from the workshop AS expressed at the beginning of the meeting were: Public Sector expectations (i) to acquire resource materials for aquaculture as a business and for extension and an opportunity for learning and (ii) share on successful aquaculture business models and their adaptability. Research and Academia expectations were to identify (i) simple and practical aquaculture business models that are applicable to Member States, and (ii) ways for efficient dissemination of the business models. Private Sector expectations were to (i) find solutions for enhancing business and trade in aquaculture and (ii) strengthening public-private sector partnerships.

The Workshop

The workshop facilitators were E. Hinrichsen, G. El Naggar and A. El-Sayed supported by the AU-IBAR FISHGOV team that comprised S. Nouala, N. Isyagi, O. Anozie, S.Ossiya and D. Gasnier from CARDNO.
A participatory approach, centered on discussions, was adopted for the deliberations. Presentations were given to provide the background to the workshop, inform it of the issues at hand and share experiences.

The following presentations were given at the workshop:

Background Presentations

  • Background to Consultative Workshop to Formulate Guidelines for Aquaculture Business and Extension Services – AU-IBAR.
  • Position Paper: Enhancing Aquaculture through Business Planning – E. Hinrichsen, AquaEco, South Africa.
  • Position Paper: Enhancing Aquaculture through Aquaculture Extension – E. Hinrichsen, AquaEco, South Africa.
  • Aquaculture Species Value-Chains – D. Gasnier, CARDNO TA to AU-IBAR, France.
  • Public Private Partnerships as Options for Sustainable Aquaculture Development – S. Agamah, Consultant, Nigeria.

Sharing of Experiences

Business Models

  • Catfish Farming In Nigeria – O. Rotmi, Chairman, Catfish Association of Nigeria, Nigeria
  • Sharing of Experiences in Processing and Trade of Farmed Fish Products – L. Kobusingye, KATI Farms, Uganda.
  • The Business of Aquaculture: A Personal Comment– R. Ball, South Africa
  • A Case Study Trout Smallholder Community Project – H. Stander, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Commercial Aquaculture in Morocco – A. Orbi, Consultant, Morocco
  • Young Agri-preners For promotion of aquaculture enterprises in DRC – J. Mulumbu, IITA, DRC
  • Providing Financing for Commercial Aquaculture – P. Fiawoo, Bonzali Rural Bank, Ghana.

Extension

  • Business Model for Aquaculture Vocational Training – H. Stander, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • ARAC’s Experience in Aquaculture Extension – D. Bekibele, ARAC, Nigeria
  • University of Lago’s Experiences in Aquaculture Extension – A. Martins, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

The group discussions deliberated upon:

Business Models

  • Identifying various prospective business models to support the development commercial aquaculture and of commercial aquaculture value-chains Africa, their potential characteristics and attributes for the different scenarios.
  • Identifying best practice options that would facilitate the successful implementation of the proposed business models.

Extension

  • Identifying various prospective extension and information dissemination strategies that would result in providing stakeholders with the appropriate skills necessary to implement the proposed business models across the value-chain for the different stakeholders.
  • Identify best practice options for aquaculture extensions that would promote the delivery of the relevant extension services and information.

Outcomes of the Meeting

The workshop came up with the following outputs from the deliberations:

Business Models

  • The wide array of stakeholders and stakeholder needs vis-à-vis the status of aquaculture and aquaculture-value chains in the different countries was presented. Hence, rather than a single model, a range of options were proposed. It was indicated that each model should be characterised to provide appropriate guidance to Member States and Stakeholders.
  • The proposed models should include those aimed at smallholder (individual and community), medium and large holdings, multinational entities and cooperatives.
  • Establishing partnerships between the public and private sector (PPP), as well as other entities will shall be important. Such models should be adopted and piloted.
  • Disaggregate business models to match all value chain components.
  • Innovative approaches to securing financing should be investigated and included as part of the model components in addition to traditional sourcing through commercial financial institutions. Notably, non-monetary mechanisms should be investigated.
  • Risk reduction and mitigation mechanisms should be considered in the models, both at the enterprise and value-chain level.
  • Characteristics for sustainable business models needs to be considered in the business’s ownership, governance or administration, profile of the participants, scale of production, production systems, sustainability of models, legal and policy dimensions, as well as markets.
  • Business models that will enhance the expansion and improving of the robustness of value chains should be identified and supported.
  • The elements of the value-chain that needs most attention are feed, seed, markets, extension services, financial services and skills development.

Best Practices for Aquaculture Business

  • The development of appropriate business models for aquaculture will depend on a range of best business practices. These were identified to included better credit provision, better risk management, better business planning etc.
  • The models should be supported by the development of further best practices.

Extension Models

  • Extension services should be market-oriented, innovative and entrepreneurial in themselves.
  • Aquaculture extension services and dissemination of information should strive for timely transfer of relevant know-how (knowledge and skills) to enable new entrants and existing participants to successfully establish and run aquaculture enterprises, as well as positively change attitudes to the sector.
  • In view of the wide-array of needs, several models should be available and selected based on their appropriateness for the local situation, and tailored to specific private and public stakeholder needs across the value-chain. Models proposed and discussed, included government extension services, universities, NGO’s, farmers associations, larger commercial farmers and/or value-chain entities (e.g. feed manufactures, seed producers), farmer-to-farmer pathways, vocational training, internships, skill clusters, Centres of Excellence/knowledge hubs, demonstration projects and model farms.
  • The drivers for these extension options were identified. Among the drivers were producers, government, competent authorities, value-chain entities (e.g. feed, seed companies), tertiary training institutions, research entities, markets and NGO's.
  • The role of social media for communication in view of its cost and reachability attributes, was recommended. However safeguards would have to be made against information overload, fake news and to ensure relevant information was disseminated. Know-how could be disseminated through step-by-step instructions coupled with video clips and other visual aids. Stakeholders would also need to be guided on how to use these to access the extension materials referred to.
  • Youth and gender interests and needs should be catered for.

Best Practices for Delivering Relevant Extension Services and for Information Dissemination

  • The development of appropriate extension models for aquaculture will depend on a range of best practices. These were identified to included better transfer of knowledge to skills, means to support indigenous knowledge, use of social media and more.
  • The extension models should be supported by the development of further best practices.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were noted:

  • Smallholder producers should not be left out of the equation because they constitute the majority of Africa’s aquaculture producers and allied aquaculture service related businesses. They play a meaningful role in ensuring food security. The implementation of appropriate business models and extension actions, tailored to their needs, will enable transformation into more viable entities.
  • The wide array of stakeholders and stakeholder needs vis-à-vis the status of aquaculture and aquaculture-value chains in the different countries was presented. Hence, rather than a single model, a range of options were proposed. It was indicated that each model should be characterised to provide appropriate guidance to Member States and Stakeholders.
  • Generic models based upon the size of business, individual/co-operate ownership, hierarchy and level of integration in the value-chain, were identified and comments given on their appropriateness. These included smallholder, community, cluster farming, cooperatives, and large and medium scale enterprises.
  • The content describing the proposed models in the 'Guidelines' should spell out the elements of the model, as well as critical points and issues that would be addressed for successful implementation.
  • The definition for aquaculture extension has been revised to incorporate timely delivery of accurate information, by appropriate means.
  • The role of social media (and mobile phone opportunities) should be investigated for extension and the delivery of other services.

Closing of the Workshop

  1. The participants thanked the Government and peoples of the Republic of Ghana for their warm hospitality during their stay in Accra.
  2. Closing remarks were given by Dr. Simplice Nouala, the Head of the Animal Production Unit, AU-IBAR gave opening remarks on behalf of the Director AU-IBAR and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Honorable Elizabeth Afoley Quaye during joint opening and closing ceremony with the Consultative Meetings on Animal Feeds and Aquatic Animal Seed and Broodstock.
  3. In his remarks, Dr. Simplice Nouala, extended the appreciation of the Director AU-IBAR to the peoples and government of the Republic of Ghana for their support to hosting the consultative workshops on Feed and Seed. He noted the significance of aquaculture as currently being Africa’s most sustainable option for increasing its levels of fish production to meet the food and security needs of the continent.This situation offered the opportunity for aquaculture to become a source of income and significant contributor to the CAADP. The strategy therefore to transform Africa’s aquaculture accordingly, was stipulated in the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. The focus in this policy is to promote market-sustainable aquaculture development. He reiterated his confidence in the participants to deliver outputs arising from the deliberations of the workshop that would become among the cornerstones as a foundation for the envisaged transformation of aquaculture.
  4. In her remarks, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Honorable Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Ghana officially opened the workshop. The honourable minister was accompanied by Honorable Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Francis Kingsey Ato Cudjoe; the Acting Chief Director Papa Yaw Atobrah; the Director of Fisheries, Michael Arthur-Dadzie and the adviser to the Honorable Minister, Alfred Yeboah Tetebo. In her opening remarks, the Honorable Minister reiterated Ghana’s support for the continental agenda guided by the CAADP to transform aquaculture into a market-led sustainable agricultural sub-sector. She noted that fish comprised 60% of the animal protein consumed by Ghanaians whose average per capita was 25 kg/capita/annum. She expressed concern that 50% of this demand was imported into Ghana. Promoting aquaculture development was among Ghana’s priorities. As such, Ghana placed due credence to these series of workshops whose outputs would be of immediate value to uplifting the status of Ghana’s aquaculture. With these remarks she officially opened the meeting and wished the participants fruitful deliberations.

Secretariats