(Self-sufficiency was 41.4%)
In the report “Directorate of Agricultural Statistics, final figures for the 2021-2022 crop year, May 2022”, it appears that fisheries production decreased in 2021 and this for two consecutive years for the different chains except for artisanal sea fishing. This is the consequence of the difficulties of importing the extruded food adopted by fish farmers because of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Aquaculture production has decreased by 12.6% and 40.3% respectively compared to 2020 and the average obtained over the last five years”. In summary, this is what emerges from the study carried out in May 2022 by the Directorate of Agricultural Statistics (DSA) of Benin. According to the study report, apart from artisanal sea fishing, other types of fishing have declined. Indeed, aquaculture production has experienced a second decline after that of 2020. This is justified by factors such as the coronavirus pandemic with difficulties in accessing food for fish farming. “Due to the difficulties of importing extruded feed adopted by fish farmers due to the COVID-19 crisis (limitation and high cost of transport), total aquaculture production is 2,649 tonnes compared to 3,031 tonnes in 2020. The average aquaculture production over the last five years is 4,440 tonnes “, informs the study report” Directorate of Agricultural Statistics, final figures for the 2021-2022 crop year, May 2022 “. Against 82,417 tonnes of yield in 2020, fisheries production in Benin fell to 76,925 tonnes in 2021, or 6.7%. A drop that has increased the import of fresh fish and other aquaculture products. In detail, inland fishing has pulled the sector further down. “In 2021 a decrease of nearly 18.1% is a production of 36,631 tonnes compared to a production of 44,726 tonnes and 40,271 tonnes respectively in 2020 and the average of the last five years. Its weight in total fisheries production, which was on average 56.6%, has dropped to 47.6% in 2021, “informs the DSA study on this subject. This reduction in form would be justified by the repression of prohibited gear and tools which lead to overexploitation of fishery resources. This has undoubtedly limited the capacity of producers (fishermen).
However, this is not the case for artisanal sea fishing, which increased by more than 3,000 tonnes, reaching a production of 37,591 tonnes in 2021 compared to 34,443 tonnes in 2020, an increase of 9.1% compared to 2020. But the fact remains that these performances have not been able to meet the demand or the need of the local market. Evidence of this is dependence, which came out at almost 60% knowing that self-sufficiency was only 41.4% according to the DSA. However, efforts are under way to significantly increase performance and reduce dependency. This is also the objective of the government which made a large batch of equipment available to fish farmers through PROVAC-2 in January 2022. Various work tools had been granted to them for a total investment of 150 million FCFA. On occasion, “The increase in aquaculture production is incumbent on all of us with a view to gradually closing our country’s fish deficit and at the same time reducing imports,” said Gaston Cossi Dossouhoui, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. Confident that this equipment will improve qualitatively and quantitatively the results of production among the actors of the fish farming sector. “You have a duty of accountability to the State. We will be proud that you have helped cover the need for fish protein with healthy foods,” he insisted.
Adapted and Translated from French into English by: