Countries surrounding Lake Victoria in East Africa may require sophisticated techniques to effectively manage fish production to support the growing demand in the region.
A delegation from the European Union is engaging the East African Community bloc in a two- day workshop that began on Wednesday to address regional aquaculture, under the theme ‘Stakeholders workshop on the EU-EAC TRUE-FISH Programme’.
EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, said that measures to sustainably manage and capture fisheries remained a big challenge with stocks of Nile Perch and Tilapia declining drastically.
“Aquaculture in East Africa has not developed its potential and accounts for only 7-8% of regional fish consumption,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.
He said Overall demand for fish in the region is projected to rise substantially in the near future due to high growth, increasing incomes and urbanization. Developing aquaculture to meet the increasing demand for fish in East Africa is therefore crucial.
Mfumukeko disclosed that the five-year project would run from 2019 to 2024 with a budget of €10 million from the European Development Fund, adding that this was a component of the €85 million committed to EAC projects in agriculture, infrastructure, investment and private sector development by the EU.
The main objectives of the workshop was presenting and discussing the final design of the EU funded program to the key stakeholders, place the program in the context of wider fisheries and aquaculture topics of interest for the region, including on gender, and hold thematic working sessions to kick-off consultations for the preparation of implementing projects.
The workshop was combined with Europe Day celebrations under the theme ‘Gender and aquaculture’.