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Add To Calendar 29/04/2016 10:30:0029/04/2016 10:50:00America/ChicagoAsian-Pacific Aquaculture 2016HOW TILAPIA HAS IMPROVED THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THOUSANDS OF BRAZILIAN BACKLANDS PEOPLE?   Crystal 5The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Renata Melon Barroso
Analyst at Embrapa Fisheries and Aquaculture
Palmas/TO, Brazil

With one of the lowest Human Development Index, the Ceará State backlands belongs to the Brazilian drought area and always generated concern about food and income generation for local families.  In the early XX a special Department was created to manage various structural works to deal with environmental and social problems of this region. Among other works, several reservoirs were built throughout the state and with them, fingerlings dissemination was made with the perspective of hunger alleviation. This way, inner lands of Ceará State have always had a strong connection with fish. However, only with the development of intensive fish farming system through the use of cages in public reservoir, scenario could change from subsistence or small artisanal fisheries to scale up commercial production. This key fact has changed the reality of more than a thousand of families since 2004. The relatively simple farming technics and the well succeeded development of tilapia in Ceará converted the State in a big player of tilapia farming in Brazil. Besides, Ceará has the biggest tilapia market of the country, facilitating the market access for small scale farmers. About 70% of the tilapia produced in Ceará is consumed in the state, stirring an economy around the tilapia value chain and helping food security of the backland, where tilapia is produced.

Currently, 70% of the tilapia farming in Ceará state is represented by small scale farmers of the local communities, involving about 8,000 people organized in informal production groups, with a monthly production per group between 10 to 40 tonnes. In general, each worker can deal with 150 m3 of production, making a monthly income from 1 to 2 minimum Brazilian wage (US$200 to US400) each. However, often more than one person of the family works in a production group, what means a high income comparing the average income of the region. Ten years after the beginning of the tilapia cage farming in Ceará, about 80% of the income of these communities comes from tilapia (Barbosa, 2015) and life improvement is evident.

Annual production of the State has remained around 35 thousand tons. The average price of US$ 1.5 / kg at farmer level generates gross annual revenue of approximately US$ 52.5 million.

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