Cameroon’s Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) is carrying out research in view of putting at the disposal of fish farmers and donors a new development strategy that is expected to boost local production and bail the country out of incessant importation of fish. A two-day workshop to validate the research results, dubbed, “Research Strategy on Fish Culture Development in Cameroon” went underway in IRAD premises at Nkolbisson Yaounde.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Director General of IRAD, Dr Jacob Mbua Ngueve said the study sought to develop methodology about the constraints to sustainable fish farming in the country.
“Cameroon imports a lot of fish irrespective of the potentials we have. Oceans, rivers are aplenty. Government has wanted to increase fish production and given that we cannot go and tell farmers to increase production without a strategy to guide them, there was need for a study”, he said. The study, he added, is to come up with a strategy that will help farmers know exactly what they are supposed to do to increase production without destroying biodiversity.
According to one of the workshop participants, Dr. Pius Mbu Oben, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Fisheries and Animal Programme of the University of Buea, barriers to fish production in the country are scientific.
“There are over 20 fish species that can be cultured but before this, there is need for the fish biology. Fish production in the country can improve with the funding of a science for the study of the biology of indigenous fish species here”, he noted.
Like the DG of IRAD, Dr Mbu saw in the new strategy a valuable document that can help the country maximise to the fullest its fishery potentials. “The document will be produced in form of technical handouts and handed to farmers to enable them follow those guidelines to improve production. Secondly, it will be sold out to donors who are interested in funding fish research and development”, Dr Ngueve disclosed.