Potential, Challenges and Opportunities for Promoting Integrated Agri-Aquaculture among Vegetable Growers and Fish Farmers in Mvomero District of Morogoro Region, Tanzania
Integrated Agri-Aquaculture (IAA) is the integration of fish farming within a broader farming system. Although this system is common in Asia, it is not widely practised in Africa and Tanzania in particular. For many years, lakes, ocean and rivers have been the main source of fish supply in the country. However, the recent upsurge in fish demand coupled with such factors as the use of destructive fishing gears, population growth and poor agricultural practices which lead to pollution and climate change have rendered these sources unsustainable. To increase fish supply, several interventions for promoting fish farming have been implemented. Specifically, IAA is promoted to optimally utilize locally available resources and reduce environmental impacts. However, the main concern is that there has been low yield attained from the IAA contrary to its aim of increasing overall farm yield and income. As a relatively new farming system in the target community, it deemed necessary to explore issues and conditions limiting IAA practice starting with testing its acceptability within the farming communities. The present study analysed the potentials, challenges and opportunities for adopting IAA in Mvomero district of Morogoro region, Tanzania. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from vegetable growers and fish farmers. Findings showed that there was a high level of awareness and interest in IAA among vegetable growers and fish farmers. However, only 14% of vegetable growers practised IAA compared to 75% of fish farmers. Lack of knowledge and quality inputs were the main challenges facing the IAA farming system. The study recommends practical training of vegetable farmers
on IAA and Integrated Pest Management aspects as a means of promoting IAA. Efforts for IAA promotion should be geared towards facilitating the formation of farmer groups for peer learning and practising IAA.
Keywords: Agri-aquaculture, adoption, potentials, opportunities, Challenges, Mvomero, Tanzania
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA