The Network boasts the participation of 21 countries. (Photo: FIS)
Aquaculture Network for the Americas launched
Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
The Aquaculture Network for the Americas (ANA) was formalised on 25 March in Brasilia, Brazil. The aim of this Network’s creation is to foment the sustainable development of aquaculture in countries and the region, stimulating intergovernmental cooperation and favouring food security and the fight against poverty.
The Network boasts the participation of 21 countries, among which is Brazil, set to be the temporary headquarters of the Secretariat for a period of two years and a half. During this time, the South American country will bank on the technical support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The rest of the countries that conform the Network are: Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guyana, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti and Canada.
According to Jose Graziano da Silva, regional representative of the FAO, “the creation of the Network is the result of 34 years of effort by part the countries of the region and it is now taking shape thanks to the support of the FAO and
the South-South cooperation.”
"This is the first FAO initiative that is funded through a multi-donor fund in Latin America and the Caribbean, in which the main contributors are not developed countries, ”Graziano da Silva pointed out.
During the formalisation of the network, the head of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministry of Brazil, Altemir Gregolim, assured that the Brazilian Government will contribute USD 1 million.
Over the next 12 months, the multi-donor fund will be able to receive contributions from other countries in the region.
The proponents of the Network plan to make a diagnosis of Latin American and Caribbean aquaculture, especially on the state of thousands of producers of limited resources.
From this diagnosis, a programme of support will be implemented for the development of aquaculture and the inclusion of small producers.
“Many of them are limited in their ability to generate projects and programmes, they do not know the commercial potential of their products, nor count on information about the value chains in which they are involved,” said Alejandro Flores, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture official, on the matter.
"Aquaculture is a fundamental activity for the region: it contributes more than 200,000 direct posts and nearly 500,000 indirect jobs,”Flores added.
Aquaculture production also grew to annual rates of around 20 per cent, and whereas 186,000 tonnes were produced per year in 1990, over 1,300,000 tonnes [were produced] in 2006.
Another of the contributions of the new network will be to grant regional coordination for its sustainable development.
The declines in aquaculture production took place because of the sanitary and environmental crises that affected the main intensive cultivations, like salmonids and shrimp.
"For that reason, one of main products of the RAA will be the creation of a code of good practises of aquaculture, that will be at the disposal of governments and players of the region,” Flores indicated.
The RAA is also expected to dictate annual courses on good practises, including their social dimensions, as well as other production, innocuity, animal health and traceability aspects.
By Analia Murias