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Old 14-08-2003, 02:28 PM
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Inland fish farming - an important component of food security, by James Kila

THE DEVELOPMENT of inland fresh water fish farming is a priority for meeting the nutritional needs of inland communities and also an important component of Food Security Program in Papua New Guinea recently.

This was highlighted during a first-ever Inland Pond Aquaculture Workshop hosted by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) in Goroka recently.

The three-day workshop also witnessed presentation of important papers on research and findings on fresh water fish farming carried out in all over PNG both in the coastal and Highlands region. Speakers at the event represented both the government and local fish farmers from rural areas of the country

Generally, the national organizations, including the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government, the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and the National Fisheries Authority (NFAO) recognized that the development of inland fresh water fish farming is a priority for meeting the nutritional needs of inland communities and it is an important component of Food Security Program in PNG.

The team leader of ACIAR based at Aiyura, Kine Mufuape said after the workshop the various issues discussed will be gathered and put into a major policy paper.

“We are all happy that the workshop was able to gauze different views from nearly everyone in the industry,” Mr Mufuape said.

An indept survey report carried out by Paul Smith an expert from the University of Western Sydney, Australia and other researchers namely Kine Mufuape, Kaupa Kia, Micha Aranka, Xiaowei Shou and Ursula Kolkolo was also presented at the workshop.

The primary objective of the farm survey was to determine the status of inland pond aquaculture in and provide fish farmers in inland communities with a means of communicating their present status, constraints, needs and plans.

The survey was carried out into 313 fish farms in PNG and performed from December 19 2001 to March 1, 2003. Common carp (cyprinus carpio) was the main species cultured at the farms. It was the sole species in 90.4 per cent of farmers and farmed without other species in 7.7 per cent of farms.Rainbow trout, tilapia and few other fish species was also farmed in a limited extent.

The survey covered farms in thirteen provinces, with most surveys being carried out in Morobe (33.2 per cent), Western Highlands (26.5 per cent), Eastern Highlands (22.7 per cent) and Simbu (8.9 per cent).

According to the findings the average respondents could be described as a small-scale agricultural farmer who is a married male with three or two children. The average respondents grows common carp and runs the farm without co-owners.

The survey also suggested that there are principally three types of fish farmers in PNG – the new comers who have not harvested yet (Nupela), established farmers who have less than 1000 fish ponds and have harvested at least one crop (Olpela Liklik) and pioneer farmers who have more than 1000 fish, considerable infrastructure and are focused on selling to restaurants or export markets (Olpela).

According to the survey Nupela represent 45-55 per cent of farms, Olpela Liklik represent 40-45 per cent of farms and Olpela represent 5-10 per cent of farms..
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Old 14-08-2003, 02:33 PM
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Significant problems

According to reports of the survey carried out over 70 per cent of farmers were interested in expanding their fish farming activities with even 70 per cent having a high or very high intention to construct ore ponds. In general farmers consider that fish farming has high or fair importance for local communities. The respondents considered that the three most significant problems for fish farming in their local area were in order of importance are: a) fingerling supplies (b) pond management and (c) financial management.

The issue of hatchery survey and the suggestions for improving the development and commercial success of hatcheries in the local area was also discussed.
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Old 14-08-2003, 02:35 PM
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Activities carried out at the farm

Farm activities and farm management were investigated and the respondents strongly identified fish farming as a means of obtaining cash income and family nutrition in 86.9 per cent cases.

The main source of water was from a stream or creek (69.3 % of farms), undergound spring (17.6 per cent) or a combination of water sources. However, some farms relied on water sources that carry a degree of risk such as rainwater, pumping and town water supply.

The source of seed (fingerlings) was mainly from HAQDEC at Aiyura alone (41.9 per cent) or in combination of other suppliers. Also . 32. 6 per cent of respondents received fingerlings from other farm and 9.6 per cent of respondents produce fingerlings at their own farm.

The main type of feed used was kitchen left-overs and vegetables (64.2 percent) or kitchen leftovers and live feed (21.7 per cent).

In less than 10 per cent of the farms, manufactured pellet feed was used in combination with other home-based feeds.

No fertilizer was used in 59.1 per cent of farms. In cases where fertilizer was used, organic animal manure was the common form (33.2 per cent). Stock survival is visually checked on a daily basis on 69.3 per cent of farms. Similarly, feedings by the fish was checked on daily basis on 69.3 farms. The discharge of water from the ponds was mainly to a river or stream (82.7 of responses). Only 6.4 per cent of farms discharged onto agricultural land and 1.6 per cent of farms discharged into fallow land.
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Old 14-08-2003, 02:36 PM
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Key issues confronting farmers in PNG

When respondents was asked whether they know of any cases of local fish farms that had failed, the most common response (40.9 per cent cases) was that no instances of failures were known to the farmer.

For those respondents who knew of failures, the most common reasons were vandalism and theft, lack of help or extension, shortage of fingerlings and water supply problems.

The respondents identified the most significant issues for development of fish farming and commercial success of fish farms as: improved training and advice, improved fingerling supply, better financial support, improved feed and better supply of equipment and materials.

Respondents also suggested that better infrastructure and market developments were issues that were important for commercial success.
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Old 14-08-2003, 02:37 PM
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Status of fish farming by schools and institutions in PNG

The institutional survey was included in the Inland Pond Aquaculture survey program in PNG, because of the current interest and involvement of institutions in fish farming as generally seen in the past few years. It was noticed that institutions are now introducing fish farming into their schools mostly for training purposes to their students and inmates at Correction Institution Services (CIS) to equip them with basic skills and knowledge so that they can become useful citizens when they return to their native villages.

The institutional opinions about fish farming is high and fair according to institution and also high in interest of expanding farms by the community. Institutions noted that fish farming in the community is very important and beneficial for simple people in the village because of protein supplement and self-employment opportunities.

The most common problems as seen and experienced by institutions was availability of fingerlings supply to the farm. There is no one around the community which produced and supplied the fingerlings to the fish farm and to obtain fingerlings from supplier or Aiyura is quite difficult.

Some farms indicate some natural breeding of fish was evidence in their ponds. Other common problems that exist in the farms were; lack of fish feed, pond management, water quality in the farms and stealing of farm fish.
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Old 14-08-2003, 02:39 PM
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Suggestions by schools and institutions

Most institutions indicated and suggested that in order to improve development of fish farming in the local area by: conducting more training in fish farming; require more extension services and awareness on fish farming and need more fingerling supply.

The suggestion from institutions indicate that there was a need for fish farming development in the local community by relevant authorities to address the issues that were brought forward.

Mostly the training component, since the fish farming is new to PNG and many people had no idea of fish farming and it shows there is still lack of adequate skills and information available at the institution level. Many institutions definitely requested for formal training and extension services to be provided in order to develop fish farming and their institution or around the surrounding areas.

The school and institutional survey indicated that fish farming was introduced into schools and institutions (CIS) to impact basic aquaculture skills, techniques and information to students and in-mates.

This will help them a great deal after they leave their respective institution and go home. It is also a very effective method of extension in fish farming.

Ends…../
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