The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has received funding of about US$9.2 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the period 2022-2025.
The funding comes as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe adopted the development of the tilapia (bream) value chain as part of countries belonging to the tilapia cluster and in line with the implementation of the Regional Priority Action Roadmap that was developed to implement the Southern African Development Community (SADC) aquaculture regional value chains.
The project has a component to implement a Regional Tilapia Genetic Improvement Programme that will support research and improvement of tilapia germplasm for distribution within tilapia cluster countries.
This will improve access to superior tilapia germplasm and the competitiveness of the value chain. This project is supporting all SADC Member States, but the focus is currently on seven Member States namely Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Secretariat supported Botswana, Malawi and Namibia to develop national aquaculture strategies aligned with Regional Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan, and five Member States namely Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Namibia were assisted with the development of national aquatic animal health and biosecurity strategies aligned with the SADC Aquatic Animal Health Strategy.
The scope and purpose of the SADC Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan is to provide strategic direction for the rapid, environmentally responsible, development of aquaculture in SADC Member States, while simultaneously safe guarding the ecological integrity of aquatic ecosystems, conserving common genetic resources and supporting the maintenance of regional aquatic biosecurity as outlined in the SADC Regional Aquatic Biosecurity Strategy.
The SADC Regional Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan (RASAP) also considers the aquaculture strategies of Member States to advance the development of cross border value chains that better enable the utilisation of aquatic and human resources within the Region.
Capacity building programmes on aquaculture and aquatic animal health were developed and implemented in 2021-2022. In addition to this,a SADC Fish Diseases Map (Pathogen list); an AquaVetPlan for disease outbreak emergency preparedness; and an online training programme for Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) were developed and implemented.
EUS educational materials were distributed to Member States, and the SADC Harmonised Guidelines for Hatchery and Brood Stock Management, Gene Banking and Stock Enhancement were approved by the Ministers responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture in May 2022.
Building on the findings of the Regional Agro-processing profiling study completed in 2019, the Secretariat has commissioned a “Regional Detailed Mapping and Analysis of the Cotton, Rice, Soya and Wheat Value Chains” with the main objective to identify opportunities for the upgrading of the value chains resulting in increased regional production and intra-regional trade.