In 2004, the Rural Fisheries Programme of the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, RhodesUniversity, completed a project on behalf of the Water Research Commission (WRC) to assess the contributionsof rural aquaculture to livelihoods.
It became apparent that although the current contributions were low, thepotential was significant. To exploit this potential, Project K5/1580//4 was solicited by the WRC in 2005, cofundedby the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and undertaken by Rhodes University.
This project was formulated to address a number of issues, such as developing provincial aquaculturestrategic plans, revitalising state hatcheries, training of extension officers, and the development of a manualto complement the training.
An inclusive process to develop an aquaculture training manual for extensionofficers was followed. The provincial branches of the Department of Agriculture made inputs on the contentand structure of the manual and drafts were then sent to DAFF and other stakeholders for review andcomments.
It is envisaged that this manual will continue to be modified and reviewed as aquaculture in SouthAfrica grows in order to reflect the needs of the extension officers over time.
The manual is not only intendedfor the training of extension officers, but is also resource material to be used in the field when interacting withfarmers.
Acknowledgements are due to Dr Niall Vine for developing the first draft of the manual and to Mr NicholasJames for further development and testing the manual in the field. Acknowledgement is also due to Mr JohnCase for the line drawings.
We would also like to thank the farmers that we worked with, the aquacultureofficers in the provinces, and various other stakeholders who contributed in developing this manual.
Lastly, thanks go to Dr Gerhard Backeberg of the WRC, as well as to Dr Motseki Hlatshwayo and Mr KeithRamsay of the DAFF, for their vision and support for research on aquaculture.
The partnership between theWRC, DAFF and Rhodes University has proved to be a successful one in developing this manual for ruralaquaculture.
Qurban Rouhani, Programme Manager
Rural Fisheries Programme, Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science
Rhodes UniversityGrahamstown, South Africa
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