Aquaculture business development strategy finalized in Micronesia, Kiribati
The Micronesian Association for Sustainable Aquaculture (MASA) and Kiribati finalized this month a regional business development strategy that will further sustain aquaculture activities region, the Pacific Community (SPC) announced in a press statement.
The new strategy, the SPC said, is part of a regional project funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and implemented by the Pacific Community since 2017. The new regional initiative will assist both the five countries of MASA, and Kiribati, in developing strategies to strengthen aquaculture initiatives, by creating a business strategy that takes into account the many factors that go into a successful aquaculture operation.
“The national plans developed through the project recommend priority investments and planning for aquaculture for the countries,” FAO Fisheries Consultant Mele Tauati said. “They highlight specific key areas of technical assistance and pre-conditions that need to be addressed to attract investment, such as appropriate legal frameworks, market analyses, and applied research and development for certain species of interest.”
Aquaculture businesses need to take into account certain key areas when starting a new venture, according to MASA, which said species of fish to be raised, capacity, the location of the facility, and more all need to be considered in order to develop a winning strategy for an aquaculture operation. Without the proper strategy, financing an operation would be difficult, MASA said.
A key reason for the FAO’s support of the project is the promotion of food security in the region. Seafood consumption has been increasing, reaching over 20 kilograms per capita in recent decades. The increases in seafood consumption are outpacing population increases, and as the FAO pointed out in a background paper on the subject tthe Earth’s population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050.
The paper also noted that the Pacific region was an especially high consumer of seafood products, making projects like the one involving MASA and Kiribati all the more important.
“Having an aquaculture business strategy will help these countries to acquire financing to start or expand an aquaculture business through third party financing and internal strategy,” Robert Jimmy, the Pacific Community Aquaculture Adviser, said. “We hope that Micronesian countries will therefore be able to strengthen this sector, which is critical when it comes to strengthening food security and economic empowerment of local communities.”
Photo courtesy of the Pacific Community