Fish farming for profitable business development

Contributing to the farming of the fish breed Tilapia is an important priority area for the Royal Norwegian Society for Development in Madagascar. The results show that we are on the right track. Over two years, the small producers who are taking part in the project have doubled their monthly income.

Project background

Aquaculture is an important natural resource on Madagascar. Historically, there have been a number of failed attempts to start up fish farms. By contributing to the re-establishment and fresh development of fish farming as a sustainable small/ medium scale (SME) industry with a potential for growth, we are combating poverty, unemployment and malnutrition.

About the project

Organising the farmers into new forms of cooperation in order to obtain results is a challenging job. The participants’ motivation and trust for participating in the project is a central issue, and it is important to tackle relevant markets and correct pricing. It is demanding but important to get a new system in place for quality fingerlings from a newly established hatchery, whilst nature and the climate (with cyclones) require robust infrastructure and fish farms. Anti-corruption and sustainability are priority areas of work. Organising all this “from the water to the table” demands top expertise at all stages of the commercial chain.

Goals set for the fish-farming project

  • Create profitable commercial development - reducing poverty, unemployment and malnutrition - and that the project results should have a high transferability
  • Strengthen the income basis for 345 households with over 2000 individuals in all
  • Organise a cooperative with about 20+ village associations
  • Increase cost recovery for the cooperative from 5 to 50 percent in the first phase, 100 percent in second phase

Our contribution and role

  • Project leadership and quality assurance from A to Z
  • Ensure equal opportunities for women and men
  • Ensure technical training and quality assure the fish-farming industry
  • Contribute to securing market access and product development for the producers
  • Ensure climate-appropriate and sustainable development of the fish farming
  • Provide training and advice about strategy, financial management and organisation


  • From less than 30 USD to around 60 USD per month for small producers who have begun fish sales
  • Tilapia weight gain from 100 to 200 g average and ditto doubling in sales
  • Ponds and fish cages with fingerlings and harvesting/sales began in August 2012.
  • A hatchery has been approved by the Madagascan authorities
  • Skills-development initiatives in fish farming and entrepreneurship/ business have been put in place and are continuing
  • Formal cooperation with the research institution FOFIFA is being put in place
  • 22 % female participation, ongoing work to increase the proportion of women

Contact us

Anne Mugaas, Senior advisor

Mobile: +47 482 90 212

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Fish farming in Madagascar