Fish farming: Women and Youths in Aquaculture receive support

Youths in Cameroon are progressively making a living from fish farming. The young entrepreneurs engaged in aquaculture to diversify sources of fishery products are due to benefit from financial support for their projects.
Some 300 aquaculture enterprises have already been identified in the Centre, Littoral and South regions of Cameroon.
Statistics from the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries indicated that 30% of farms are managed by women and 50% by young people. They produce 60% of freshwater fish, 40% of shellfish, 30% of shrimp and 5% of seawater fish.
Most the of fish farmers essential practice some scale production because of the absence of essential skills to render their businesses viable.
In a bid to empower the local producers, boost the local economy and create jobs for young Cameroonians the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries through its partner, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (FIDA) is supporting the youths.
The multifaceted support from FIDA comprises the development of skills and techniques of production to boost enterprises. It is expected that about 1,500 jobs will be generated in the three regions following the support.
The agreement for the financing of Aquaculture projects in Cameroon worth One million US dollars donated by FIDA was signed on 29th January, 2016 in Rome, Italy.
During the pilot phase, Cameroon will mobilize in internal resources estimated at 1.162 billion FCFA to finance aquaculture projects for a period of three-year.
The development of aquaculture aims to close the gap in the fishery product which for the most part is imported. Cameroon produces only half of the 400,000 tons needed each year and imports frozen fish to meet up with the high demand.
It is hoped that the growth of the sector will reduce the disadvantage in trade balance and help the youths find a place in the market.
The Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, Dr. Taiga, said Cameroon has the capacity to improve its domestic production to cover demand and generate surpluses for export.
The Project for the Promotion of Aquaculture Entrepreneurship (PPEA) in the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries that facilitates the implementation of the projects on the field eases access to appropriate technologies for production, processing and conservation. It also provides input and aquaculture products.
Besides aquaculture, young entrepreneurs are also advised to seek financial support from Pajer-U, PIASSI and the Special Triennial Youth Plan.

Elvis Teke

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