Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of the food industry. Around the globe, the fish consumption has increased greatly in a past decade and the demand for fish and seafood has quadrupled. This has put pressure to the wild caught. As already, we knew that wild catch is depleting because of overfishing (IUU). Here, the question arises, then how will be this multiplying mouths, hungry for fish will be fed???
Undoubtedly, AQUACULTURE is the answer. Aquaculture practices and latest technologies have evolved magnificently in last 2 decades, which has improved the productivity and the profitability of the farmers and ensured a safe and quality fish for consumer.
In Pakistan, the aquaculture sector is evolving and taking up new technologies and advances to improve their productivity and profit margins. But the dilemma is, none of the latest technology has proven to be successful in the local country setting. The reasons are diverse, foremost is that farmers invest in latest technologies (BFT, IPRS etc.) without understanding the mechanism how the technology works and will be economical; and improve his farm profitability.
Moreover, the farmers are fascinated with increased production that these technologies offers. The major cause of this, is lack of communication and representative body that should guide and provide know-how of these technologies.
Learning from the global experiences, we should focus on optimization of the aquaculture supply chain and should facilitate the farmer in every segment from genetics, feed and feeding, aquaculture management, processing and HR, to make them think and work beyond production.
There is a need to gather everyone in the aqua industry Pakistan under one flagship that is Aquaculture Farmers Association. It will representative body of the farmers which will conduct market need based research and create model farms that will serve as demonstration site for applicable technologies. Furthermore, these farms will provide the insight into economical edge that any technology offers.
An increasing interest and investment is coming in aquaculture Pakistan and it is right time to take initiative and club farmers to work in synergy to safeguard farmer’s rights, improve their profitability as it will be key for sustainability of this business. Aquaculture has huge potential but can only be explored when the efforts are made in right direction.