Cluster farming helps improve tilapia production in Fiji
Monday, 25 August 2014 15:34

images/stories/2014/140825_tilapiaclusterfarming_fiji.jpgThe Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has been working with the European Union and the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests (MFF) in assisting smallholder tilapia farmers to improve production by working together in cluster groups. 

Experience in Africa and Asia shows that, by working in a cluster, farmers can improve economies of scale and increase their bargaining power for inputs, such as fish feed or hatchery seed supply.  

Over a dozen farmers are part of two cluster groups that have been formed in the Western and Central Divisions of Fiji through the efforts of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) division and the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project, in consultation with relevant government departments and farmers.  

 

These farmers were assisted through technical assessment of their farming methods and production output. Teams from SPC and MFF’s Farm Development Unit made recommendations to farmers about a range of improvements in their operations and equipment, covering aspects such as pond design, farm management practices, post-harvest handling of fish, and proper record keeping. By attending regular cluster meetings, farmers who previously did not know each other have been able to share knowledge, share vital equipment like harvest nets, and coordinate better to regularly supply fish to markets.  
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