Fish Culture Expansion Project
Evaluates project to promote fish pond culture in Zaire by providing logistical support to PCV extensionists working in 5 of Zaire's 9 regions. PES covers the period 2/81-3/84 and is based on document review, visits to 4 regions, and discussions with PCV's and officials of cooperating Government of Zaire (GOZ) agencies. The project's efforts to promote quality fish pond construction and basic pond management by developing a small core group of model farmers have been successful. This is largely due to the fact that fish culture is an appropriate technology for people lacking previous experience in animal husbandry: the technology is simple (a suggestion that other animal husbandry activities be introduced was rejected) and very tolerant of careless management, capital inputs are limited, the profit potential is high, and the risk involved low. The project's simplicity and emphasis on quality, its viable extension methodology (posting PCV's in overlapping clusters) and the high quality of the PCV's themselves, as well as the GOZ's supportive attitude, have all been factors responsible for its success. The main issue for the future concerns project sustainability. In this regard, USAID/Z must determine what physical or human infrastructure, if any, should be left behind upon project completion. While fish culture will continue, the extent to which project techniques will still be used is unclear. Even more difficult is the question as to whether extension services will continue or even have to continue; this question will have to answered prior to any restructuring of the present project or any follow-on project. The GOZ's role will also have to be defined clearly, although it is unrealistic to expect the GOZ to fill the PCV's role. Decisions are also needed on the future status of regional training and fingerling production centers, as well as on the role of the Farmers' Associations and the nature, extent, and source of the support they may need. It is recommended to undertake a 10-year follow-on project and to restructure the current and follow-on projects in two phases - one to expand the current project to other suitable areas of Zaire, the other to serve secondary adaptors in areas where PCV posts have been or will be closed.