November 23, 2011
US and Pakistan develop joint programme to improve aquaculture
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and the Fisheries Development Board (FDB) of Pakistan sealed an agreement for a three-year programme aimed at improving the capacity, productivity, quality, and profitability of the Pakistani fishing industry.
This public-private venture is being funded by an US$2 million grant from the USDA, said a press release. The Pakistani aquaculture sector has been held back by the limited availability of high quality fish feed, a deficit which this programme will directly tackle.
The programme will implement feed trials, with the goal of building capacity in the aquaculture sector and increasing the productivity and profitability of fish farmers.
Pakistani fisheries have suffered from insufficient fish feed supplies, and without enough fish feed, the fish population cannot grow. This programme will directly target this problem.
The programme will begin with six select trial sites and will expand over three years, eventually reaching an estimated 4,000 farmers.
This programme is an important part of the US goal of increasing Pakistan's agricultural productivity and improving its long-term food security.
The US has provided more than US$60 million in assistance to the Pakistani agriculture sector since 2009.
In addition, the development of the aquaculture sector is an important step in enhancing Pakistan's national economic growth, contributing to poverty alleviation, and increasing farmers' incomes.
The programme will also include an assessment of the Pakistani fish industry, a variety of technical trainings, and a public awareness campaign.