ITACA: Breaking aquaculture barriers between Africa & Europe


After 3 intensive years visiting and working Spain, Senegal and Egypt, the involved team are building a complete interactive web that’s include a very interesting and valuable deliverables:

Improved Management and Technological Innovation in African Tilapia (ITACA) it is much more than an aquaculture project, is an opportunity to break distances and build bridges of understanding.

Nigel Gwynne-Evans, an international expert in the development of clusters and South African, tells us that half the world fits in Africa and the continent’s growth forecast for 2020 will be the largest in the world. This cannot be improvised, we must start preparing the continent to support their own growth is now 6%. There are many limitations to this growth there and especially so that it can adequately support. South Africa, today the fifth BRICS economy (the final S is on them) will not be able to get all this potential to provide even have the support of Nigeria, who is about to overcome in generating economic growth. Of course, if the Chinese permit.

The gas and oil condition the growth of the entire continent. Greed is infinite. While the food industry is among the most underdeveloped in the world, this is where the great opportunity arises. However, this opportunity should be understood in its full context, one must know what initiatives exist, where the limitations are and what the specific problems of each country. The margin of error is large enough to err greatly.

The model implemented in the ITACA project (AURG/2/139/2012) is an action implemented by the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF, Egypt, coordinator), the Institut Sénégalaise de Recherche Agricole – Centre de Recherches Oceanographiques de Dakar-Thiaroye (ISRA-CRODT, Senegal) and the Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries (IRTA, Spain) & INKOA (Spain). It is a perfect model to reduce the margin of error, basically because all partners are aligned in obtaining a specific goal, improving aquaculture.

The action was awarded a grant by the African Union under the African Union Research Grants Programme 2012, which is financed by the Financing Agreement between the European Commission and the ACP Group of States (Agreement No REG/FED/2009/021/-575) under the ACP Research for Sustainable Development Program RPR/011/09, of the 10th EDF Intra-ACP Envelop.

The ITACA project has an overall duration of 36 months (from December 2012 to December 2015) and aims to enhance the sustainability of African tilapia farms and hatcheries through improved management and technological innovation. The project is conducted in selected tilapia farms and hatcheries from Senegal and Egypt and focuses on three main areas of intervention: a) increasing the economic, social and environmental sustainability of tilapia farms through the adoption of improved management practices; b) increasing the productivity and the economic feasibility of tilapia hatcheries through technological innovation and transfer; and c) developing the research capacities of the members of the Consortium through the conduction of technical visits and the sharing of research experiences.

  1. Several interesting video tutorial that allows an approach to the main activities related to the daily in an aquaculture facility (Tutorials)
  2. the Sustainability Barometer, a useful tool to know the real situation of your fishfarm in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability (Download Sustainability Barometer spreadsheet)
  3. A set of 20 Management Plans for the improvement of economic, social and environmental sustainability of African tilapia farms

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