Social and economic performance of tilapia farming in Africa

World tilapia aquaculture production grew 12 percent annually, from less than a half million tonnes in the early 1990s to over 5 million tonnes in the mid-2010s. Africa accounted for 20 percent of the growth. Yet most of the contribution came from Egypt, whereas in the mid-2010s countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for less than 20 percent of tilapia aquaculture production in Africa and less than 4 percent of the world production. In light of the potential fish demand driven by population and economic growth in Africa where tilapia is a native species favoured by most consumers, there is little doubt that there is great potential for the development of tilapia farming in Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa in particular. However, an appropriate development policy and sector management are needed to realize the potential. This collective volume includes five studies on tilapia farming in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, which together accounted for nearly 95 percent of Africa’s tilapia aquaculture production in the mid-2010s. Each study provides a comprehensive account for the development of tilapia farming in the respective country with focus on the social and economic dimensions. Tilapia value chains are analysed in the context of the entire aquaculture or fish value chains from various perspectives (e.g. technical, economic, social and institutional). Issues, constraints and challenges are highlighted and discussed. Potential solutions are recommended. Despite the vast information and knowledge provided by the studies, there are still many unknowns about tilapia farming in Africa, especially on the economic performance. Further study is needed to fill the information and knowledge gaps. ((FAO Technical paper, 2017)

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