ASEAN Foundation supports capacity building of small holder ASEAN aquaculture farmers
Around 30 experts on aquaculture development and small-scale aquaculture from ASEAN member countries participated in the final regional workshop of the project “Strengthening Capacity of Small Holder ASEAN Aquaculture Farmers for Competitive and Sustainable Aquaculture” in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 11-13 August 2010. Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr., Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, attended the opening ceremony together with Dr. Nguyen Viet Manh, Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the Directorate of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Viet Nam and Prof. Sena DeSilva, Director General of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA). The workshop was also attended by representatives from the FAO Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD), and the ASEAN Secretariat.
In his opening address, Dr. Uriarte highlighted how the project addresses important mandates of the ASEAN Foundation to enhance interaction among various stakeholders, develop human resources and help alleviate poverty in the region. The various activities of the project also provided a venue for interaction among participants from ASEAN member countries thus helping promote ASEAN awareness and identity.
The project is implemented by the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific with funding support from the ASEAN Foundation through the Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund. It aims to improve competitiveness and sustainability of small holder ASEAN aquaculture farmers through the development and adoption of better management practices (BMPs). It covers five commodities in five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia (snakehead culture), Indonesia (grouper and seabass culture), Philippines (seaweed culture), Thailand (cage culture of tilapia) and Viet Nam (shrimp culture).
The final regional workshop provided a platform for the aquaculture farmers to share experiences, present outputs of the various trainings including the training manuals and introduced the BMPs developed under this project to other small scale aquaculture farmers in other ASEAN countries. It supported the capacity and awareness building of relevant stakeholders in the development, validation and implementation of BMPs and promoting BMP adoption through cluster management approach. The workshop reviewed the findings of the project and helped raise the profile of the small-scale aquaculture sector to better support the livelihoods of small holder fish farmers within the context of the ASEAN vision for socio-economic development and competitiveness. Outputs from the workshop would be discussed by the ASEAN Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi). Further information about the project is available at the project website.
The ASEAN Foundation was established by the ASEAN Leaders in December 1997 during ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit to help bring about shared prosperity and a sustainable future to all 10 ASEAN Member Countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.