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AusAID Project Develops Mariculture in South East Sulawesi

Crustaceans Economics Politics +4 more

INDONESIA - The South East Sulawesi region is recognised as one of high aquaculture potential. At present it is renowned for its seaweed, grouper and lobster farming, which are all conducted on a small scale in the numerous bays of islands in the Banda Sea.

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Increasingly activities conducted in the region, particularly mining and forestry, are posing major challenges to maintaining the pristine marine environments required for aquaculture. Consequently, there is a need to adapt and improve farming practices to help meet these challenges.

A two-year project has been funded under the auspices of the AusAID Public Sector Linkages Program, to help address these challenges. The programme involves a partnership between the Fisheries Department, Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan, the University of Haluoleo in Indonesia and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and Deakin University, Australia.

The new project aims to achieve sustainable development of the mariculture sector in South East Sulawesi, through enhancing the livelihoods of small-holder aquaculture farmers. To achieve this aim the project team will:

  • Enhance technical capability of local institutions to facilitate adoption of a new industry development framework.
  • Develop and demonstrate pilot-scale case studies featuring an integrated resource management and value chain approach to agribusiness development, and a cluster-based approach to adoption of better management practices.
  • Develop a provincial scale, strategic planning model designed to facilitate post-project dissemination of key findings and associated, longer-term industry development outcomes.

This new project builds on the positive outcomes of an earlier project Assessing mariculture market constraints and potential in South East Sulawesi: stakeholder engagement and situation analysis previously funded by the Australian centre for International Agricultural Research.

In early September, the Australian project team of Dr Brett Ingram (DPI, Victoria) (Project Leader), Prof. Sena De Silva (Deakin University, Warrnambool) and Geoff Gooley (formerly DPI, Victoria) travelled to South East Sulawesi to start the work. The Australian team met with the principal Indonesian project collaborators:

  • Prof. Dr. Ir. La. Ode Muh Aslan, Wa Iba Sahrir (Icha), and staff and students of the faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Haluoleo University, Kendari.
  • Ir. H. Askabul M.Si and staff of Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan, Kendari.

An important part of this first meeting was to visit the farms and the farmers whose livelihoods the project will improve and to bring all those together who will need to collaborate and share information in order to make this project a success.

The Projects Inception Workshop brought together farmers, seafood traders, researchers and government officers from Muna Island, Buton Island and Kendari. The workshop identified some of the more important problems the farmers were facing and discussed the strategies needed to mitigate these issues and to bring about improvements in the production and profitability of the farms. The participants were of the view that the development of better management practices featuring integrated multi trophic aquaculture for the major farmed commodities, and the adoption of a cluster approach and associated value chains, will be most appropriate for South East Sulawesi. The Indonesian Central Government has already initiated development of small scale farmer clusters to facilitate access to seed supplies and market channels. The group decided that it would be best to keep the focus on these existing clusters and work in conjunction with them to develop better management practices.

Through this project it is expected that small-scale famers will implement cluster-based better management practices, and develop sustainable seafood value chains. Public sector agencies will incorporate cluster-based better management practices and the integrated multi-trophic aquaculture concept in local and provincial development strategies for fisheries and mariculture development. With support from both government and educational institutions, such as Haluoleo University and the Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan, this project will facilitate training, research and management actions which make cluster-based better management practices, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and fisheries and mariculture value chains a feature for South East Sulawesi.