Fish farming is an important sector for the regional development of the western portion of the state of Paraná. From an economic perspective the activity is an income alternative for farmers who own smaller properties. Aware of the region's difficulties, Emater-PR and the Maripá City Hall in partnership with the fish farmers’ association (AQUIMAP) sought to develop the fish farming chain in the western region, establishing a sustainable fish production system that is viable in smaller modules for family farming producers.     

 

The work is carried out through a number of initiatives that seek to provide technical assistance and foster the development of technologies appropriate to the region. Among the results achieved are: strengthening and organization of producers through the creation of the Maripá Fish Farmers Association (AQUIMAP) with 80 members; the professionalization of farming families through assistance and technical training; the supply of high quality fish in a variety of weights (500g to 1000g) serving the interests of the industry at a local, regional and national level; the increasing of the tilapia fish population per m2 from 4-6 to 8-10; in the municipality of Maripá, the average production went from 3.0 ton/ha/cycle in 1994 to 54.2 ton/ha/cycle in 2016. Fish farming has been proving to be a viable alternative for small and medium-sized rural properties. 

  

A - General Information

 

BEGGINING: 1993

COMPLETION: In progress 

EXECUTING ENTITY: Emater Paraná and Maripá Municipal Government

CO-EXECUTING ENTITY: Maripá Fish Farmers’ Association (AQUIMAP)

PARTNERS: IAP, Adapar, Palotina City Hall, Marechal Cândido Rondon, Nova Aurora, Nova Santa Rosa, Cafelândia amd Assis Chateaubriand, Industries of Inputs, Processing Industries, Unioeste, Unipar, PUC, UTF, UFPR.

PRESENTED BY: Gelson Hein and Cesar Antonio Ziliotto

RESOURCES: Own and third-party 

VALUE RANGE: Over US$ 25,000.00

CATEGORY: Project

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Agriculture

KEY WORDS: Fish farming, family farming, ATER, regional development, productive chains 

TARGET AUDIENCE: Farmers and small fish farmers

LOCATION: Rural Area

GEOGRAPHIC COVERAGE: Micro-regional 

MUNICIPALITIES: The experiences of the Maripá municipality have already been replicated in Toledo, Palotina, Marechal Cândido Rondon, Nova Aurora, Nova Santa Rosa, Cafelândia, and Assis Chateaubriand

SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTING AREA: Rural Communities

 

B - Description of the practice

 

1- BACKGROUND

Fish farming has recently been incorporated in the regional development of the western portion of the State of Paraná. The minimum requirements for the structuring of the production chain date back to the 1980s with the implementation of the Management of Soils and Water Program by the Government of State of Paraná. Once the guidelines necessary for the conservation of water (a fundamental input for the development of the activity) were established, the region's producers began to incorporate the production of fish into their families' income in the late 1980s.

In the beginning, the activity seemed very easy, and even fun, but it soon became clear to producers that in order to achieve a satisfying yield overcoming some structuring difficulties related to the lack of technical assistance and empirical knowledge would be necessary, specially regarding: the use of fish farming techniques, the moving of land for implementing nurseries, the damming of springs and water streams, the release of the fish into the water, the production of animal feed, among others.

With the construction of Itaipu Lake and the need for replacement of the native species in this environment, an aquaculture research center was installed in Toledo. Fingerling production was then initiated in the center forming a basis and stimulating the producers and technicians in the first attempts at fish farming in dug ponds. In addition to this initiative, the knowledge developed in the region's universities (Unioeste, Unipar, PUC, UTFpr, UFPr) fostered the development of this activity through courses geared to the training of professionals linked to the fish farming chain, qualifying the structure and eliminating many deficiencies.

The Maripá municipality was an essentially agricultural area formerly specialized in livestock farming (pigs, poultry and cattle), located in the west of the State of Paraná. The first fish farming practices began in the 90s, rather modestly, following the trend of other municipalities in the region. In the area there were also a large number of producers that began attempting fish farming with no technical criteria or management knowledge. The difficulty of selling the product was also observed on a large scale. These difficulties in organizing the productive chain demanded the development of public fostering policies at both municipal and regional levels.

   

2- GENERAL OBJECTIVE

Developing the fish farming chain in the Western region of Paraná, establishing a sustainable fish production system that is viable in small modules for family farming producers.

Specific Objectives:  

  • Controling the use of natural resources, especially water, avoiding pollution, and promoting re-use;
  • Organizing the producers so they can be more effective in defending the need for technological knowledge, professionalization, and satisfactory economic returns;
  •  Providing a viable production alternative to ensure family succession and the permanence of the rural youth; 

 

3 - ADOPTED SOLUTION

The actions for structuring the fish productive chain in Maripá-PR started over 25 years ago. They represent a joined effort by farmers, public and private sectors, and civil society that was extended throughout different municipal/governmental administrations. The base of the production chain are the farmers, which are where knowledge and practice meet. The rural extension officer, through EMATER-PR, acts as an important link in promoting soil conservation, the reduction of erosion, the construction of nurseries, the promotion of the activity, the provision of training courses and organization tools to the of farmers, and the structuring of the activity in the region. Technology also plays an essential role for the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the sector.

The technical assistance provided by EMATER-PR and the Municipal government met the farmer's entrepreneurism for the implementing of nurseries in Maripá for the acquiring of knowledge about fish farming. In the beginning, Emater started using some reference units in order to validate and demonstrate new technologies to the producers. There are currently 3 reference units in Maripá, where the fish farming practices are systematically monitored and its technical and economic indicators are measured. This data generates information that is used in the training of technicians and farmers and in technical and practice meetings, field days, and other group methodologies. The technical assistance provided to the properties is diverse and periodic, seeking to highlight best practices in: the implementing of nurseries; harvesting; policulture; native species and diverse experiments seeking to adapt and create conditions for improving the production system; genetic enhancement and introduction of new matrices; systematic monitoring of water quality; monthly fish biometry; adjustments in the feeding rates; increase in the availability of oxygen through aerators and the use of automatic feeders; commercialization and access to regional markets; among other techniques that may increase the control and monitoring of the activity. Lastly, the implementing of the intensive fish farming system developed in Maripá must observe environmental legislation requirements in order to guarantee that the producer has access to rural credit policies.

The organization of the producers into an Association was also important for the sustainable development of aquaculture in the region. The Fish Farmers’ Association of Maripá (AQUIMAP) was instituted in 1997 with the objective of organizing producers around the more suitable techniques for production and elaborating strategies for accessing the main marketing channels. This last aspect is strengthened by the presence of cold storage companies in the region, which favour the flow of production, reducing transportation costs, encouraging technological development, and contributing to the consolidation of the productive chain. AQUIMAP currently brings together 80 producers that sell to over 20 cold storage companies in the region of Toledo and Maripá.

The growth of the fish farming activity in rural properties occurs based on actions that are developed and discussed among the producers and technicians in a mutual support environment. Results obtained, new technologies, and any occurring difficulties are shared, eliciting situations that may assist in the development and organization of the chain. These advances have transformed fish into an attractive for the region, which is also known for its production of orchids.

 

4 - RESULTS ACHIEVED

Among the results obtained through the development of the tilapia productive chain in the west of Paraná are:  

  • The strengthening of the producers’ organizational abilities through the creation of the Maripá Fish Farmers’ Association (AQUIMAP) with 80 members;
  • Professionalization of the family farmers through assistance and technical training;
  • The permanence or return of young people to the area attracted by better income opportunities;
  • Improvement of the production systems in ponds, with productivity indexes around 30 ton/ha/cycle;
  • Supply of high quality fish of varying weights (500 to 1000g), serving the local, regional and national industries;
  • It is estimated that the net income is of R$ 0.60-1.00 per kg of fish;
  • Implementing of cold storage plants. There are currently 24 cold storage plants (of various sizes) in the region, they harvest around 200 tonnes of fish per day;
  • While the average for the western region of Paraná is of 4 to 6 fish per square metre, in Maripá that average is of 8 to 10 fish per square meter;
  • In the Maripá municipality, the average productivity went from 3.0 tons/ha/cycle in 1994 to 54,2 tons/ha/cycle in 2016;

 

5 - NECESSARY RESOURCES

For the implementing of a 1-hectare nursery (3 tanks) in the intensive system are required:

 

Human Resources

  • Technicians trained in fish farming for the provision of periodic assistance, 1 person to carry out the maintenance of the nursery (tanks) after implementing. 

Material resources 

  • Material resources will vary according to the conditions of the area:
    • Quality water in abundance (10 liters/sec); environmental license; Standard Power; 100 to 200 hours of excavation; Pipes – 36 to 40 concrete pipes of 20 to 40cm, 01 monk per tank; 6 2hp aerators and 8 1.5 hp aerators; 3 floating feeders;
  • Emater Estimate for the implementing of 1ha: R$ 150.000,00- 200.000,00. 

 

6 - TRANSFER 

 

In recent years, Maripá has received state and national attention due to the high productivity achieved in the area and the organization of the tilapia productive chain. The technologies developed in Maripá and at the Toledo Emater-PR, have already been implemented in properties in the municipalities of Palotina, Marechal Cândido Rondon, Nova Aurora, Nova Santa Rosa, Cafelândia, Assis Chateaubriand, among others. The transfer of technology occurs through technical visits to other institutions, field days, regional fairs, and meetings with researchers of the field. For example, in March of 2017 the municipality received a delegation of public employees of the Municipality of Cascavel-PR, who wanted to learn more about the activities developed with local producers, the organization system of the Maripá Fish Farmers’ Association (Aquimap) and learn the management techniques used in Maripá. In July of 2017 a new activity was developed in Maripá for promoting the sector: The Fish-Farming Forum, a regional meeting for fish farmers. Another activity promoted is the Fish Farming State Seminar, which is currently in its 16th edition and counts with the presence of national and international experts in the area in addition to over 400 participants.

 

 

7 -LESSONS LEARNED

 

The main lesson learned by the producers and others involved in the industry is co-dependency. There is a very important and intimate relashionship between properties and the availability of water and other natural resources that should be available to all producers and at the highest quality standards. The sustainability of the sector is directly linked to the conservation of natural resources and the rational use of water.

One of the main barriers to the sector's development are defaulting companies that are indebted to producers. Therefore, the execution of an agreement/formal commercialization contract guarantees the fulfilment of the commitments between the producer and the company. In order to minimize default risks, producers have communicated to each other (through AQUIMAP) the information necessary to prevent a loss on fish sales.

In productive terms, it is worth highlighting the need for greater investment (by the public and private sectors) in the development of technologies that will strengthen and raise productivity levels. There is a demand in the industry for specific fish farming equipment and technologies, in particular regarding the tilapia production.

The fish farming activity requires high disbursements for its funding, especially with feeds and for periods that may vary between 6 to 10 months until the sale of the fish. Therefore, the cooperatives integration system is an excellent option for fish farmers to obtain higher commercialization security, technical quality, and to reduce the activity’s risks.

   

8 -THE ORIGINALITY OF THE PRACTICE

The production of tilapia is a globally widespread activity. The originality of this particular practice is in the technology, management, and organization implemented for the development of the sector in the municipality of Maripá.

 

 

 

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