Tilapia breeding in Ceara accounts for 20 per cent of the national production total. (Photo: Ministerio do Desenvolvimento Agrario)
Ceara seeks to double tilapia yield
Monday, April 12, 2010, 09:30 (GMT + 9)
The state of Ceara, in the northeastern region of Brazil, produced 20,000 tonnes of tilapia last year. Ceara producers hope to duplicate this figure in 2011.
Tilapia breeding generates 721 direct jobs in this Brazilian state and supplies 20 per cent of all the production of the species in the country.
Pedro Henrique Lopes, coordinator of the productive chain of aquaculture and fisheries of the Directory of Agrobusiness of the Ceara Development Agency (ADECE), noted that this entity is supporting the Pisce project in order to increase tilapia production. In a first stage, this project generated six productive poles located in Banabuiu, Castanhão, Pentecoste, Fortaleza, Sobral and Oros.
These poles have a capacity of 16,000 million cubic metres of water and the potential to produce 235,000 tonnes of fish per year.
Along side the production of tilapia “we are carrying out a study of water quality to determine the support capacity of the dams of the state,” Lopes indicated.
For Rodrigo Zanolo, product manager of Intervet/Schering Plough, "the culture of consumption of tilapia in Ceara is ancient." On the issue, he noted that in the decade of the 1970s, the National Department of Work Against Drought (DNOS) implanted breeding in Ceara dams.
"Is a highly valued product for its white, tender, flavorful and abundant meat. In the world market, especially in the US, it barely yields any space to salmon and shrimp,” Zanolo continued saying.
According to the manager of Intervet/Schering Plough, Ceara has great potential for growth as far as the production of tilapia.
"Ceara is the most strategic state in the country because it possesses dams of great size, as in the case of Oros and Castanhão. The internal market is very strong and local consumption sometimes needs to be taken care of by other states,” Zanolo said.
Meanwhile, Lopes observed that “from now until 10 or 15 years [from now], the state should be producing 240,000 tonnes of that fish, of which 60 per cent, around 140,000 tonnes, will be shipped to the international market,” Diario do Nordeste reports.
By Analia Murias