GROW Liberia has completed a Market System Assessment (MSA) with recommendations on aquaculture in eight counties.
The exercise would benefit smallholder fish farmers and explore growth opportunities for them.
The eight counties are Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh and Grand Cape Mount.
Aquaculture, also known as ‘aqua farming’ is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crabs, and crawfish, among others.
Mr. Damien Legros, an international aquaculture expert, who spoke to journalists in Monrovia recently, presented his preliminary findings and recommendations to GROW-Liberia.
In his recommendations, Mr. Legros suggested that the sector must strengthen its commercial viability for farmers to benefit in several ways.
“Although the aquaculture is still in its infancy, Liberia presents favourable conditions for the government and partners to prioritize the sector by giving a boost to mechanized farming,” Mr. Legros urged.
According to him, there is abundant fresh water in Liberia which also has a perfect climate for most cultured species, such as tilapia.
He added that the potential for marine fish production also exists in sheltered bays and lagoons.
He said Liberians are fish eaters; therefore, they have to increasingly source imported often low quality fish and with a dynamic demography, the demand for fish will only increase in the next decade.
“This demonstrates the need to develop an ambitious aquaculture industry in Liberia as fish will remain an essential quality protein source, essentially in children and adults’ diets,” Mr. Legros suggested.
In that context, and based on the MSA, Mr. Legros said there should be an implementation and budgeting mainly of the draft aquaculture policy with re-enforcement of the competent authority (Bureau of National Fisheries).