Organized by WorldFish, an international research organization, the two-day Innovation Platform meeting, on 19 and 20 February is planned in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation under the ‘Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project.
“The aim of the meeting is to help participants in Egypt’s highly successful aquaculture industry to become more involved in planning for future growth. There are great opportunities for increased employment, income generation and improving food security,” explained WorldFish Egypt Director, Dr. Gamal El Naggar.
“However, the sector faces challenges such as increased costs, seasonal marketing patterns and an unfriendly policy environment. If these challenges can be overcome everyone will benefit,” Dr. El Naggar added.
The meeting in Cairo will involve around 80 participants including fish farmers, input suppliers, fish retailers, policy makers and researchers.
It is the next step in an ‘Innovation Platform’ process being implemented by the IEIDEAS project, and follows meetings in the four main project Governorates: Kafr El Sheikh, Fayoum, Sharkia and Behera.
At the regional meetings, stakeholders considered how they would like to see aquaculture develop in their area, identified what needs to be done to make this happen, and selected representatives for the national meeting in Cairo.
The IEIDEAS project, now entering its third year, is helping to strengthen the aquaculture industry and generate more employment in the sector through initiatives including the Innovation Platform meeting.
Representatives at the Cairo meeting will discuss and prioritize the main issues that need to be addressed while forming working groups who can concentrate on specific challenges over the coming months. Once clear proposals have been developed, these will be presented for action to policy makers or developed into concept notes for project or donor support.
These actions are an essential step towards further developing Egypt’s booming aquaculture sector, which employs over one hundred thousand men and women across the country.