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Training Course on Application of Business Management Priciples in Small-scale Aquaculture, 10-20 July, Vietnam

Posted on 15/3/2011 | 4274 reads | Tags: Training
The 2nd Training Course on Application of Business Management Principles in Small-scale Aquaculture will be held at the Faculty of Aquaculture, Nha Trang University, Vietnam from 10-20 July 2011. The course is organised by NACA, the Fisheries Training Programme of the United Nations University, Nha Trang University, Vietnam and Holar University, Iceland.

Many changes have occurred in the fish food basket over the last three decades, foremost among which are food fish production and consumption have changed from a dominance of the developed world to the developing world, the latter producing almost 90 percent and consuming 65 percent of the global supplies. In addition, the dominance of the global food fish supplies has changed from a capture or hunted fishery dominance to a farmed entity. Accordingly, aquaculture, farming of the waters, account for over 50 percent of the food fish consumed globally, and in turn over 85 percent of the latter is produced in Asia. Not surprisingly, as in the other primary production sectors in this region the great bulk of aquaculture production is small scale- farmer owned/ leased, operated and managed systems.
Small scale aquaculturists, however, have to increasingly compete in a dynamic, global environment, and are called upon to comply with increasingly stringent food safety and quality requirements, ensure minimal impacts on environment, biodiversity and be socially responsible and so forth. In addition these small scale farmers also have to face physical changes that could impact on the farming systems such as through climate change, competing use for primary resources e.g. land and water. Small scale farming systems are generally not hugely profitable, but enable the practitioners to maintain their livelihoods. In the current global scenario and dynamism even small scale farmers will have to uplift their business sense and acumen to remain economically viable and sustainable.

Realising the regional need for capacity building for small scale aquaculture in business management, Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, the Fisheries Training Programmes of the United Nations University, Nha Trang University, and Holar University initiated a training programme in 2010 to develop, publicise and conduct a training course on Application of Business Principles in Small Scale Aquaculture to enable small-scale farmers. The primary objective of the course is to enable small scale farmers to attain the much needed business sense and acumen and enables them to maintain their livelihoods, maximise profits, in a competitive and a dynamic global environment. The course will attempt to bring together economic entities that impact the production processes, will recognise entry points that could bring about economic improvements through the production cycle. An understanding of the awareness of economic principles and their application at each entry point of the production system of small scale farming system will be dealt with. In all instances practical examples drawn from farmer experiences and systems will be highlighted. The course will aim to improve the skills of practitioners of small scale farming systems and enhance the understanding of application of economic facets into their practices and thereby improve economic viability in a competitive globalised environment.

The preparation of the training course drew expertise from all partners and underwent a series of activities including an inception planning workshop, a preparation workshop, training material development and a test-run of the training course. Nine training modules were subsequently developed with affiliated case studies and reading materials. The training materials focused on Asian aquaculture practices, emphasising application aspects of business management principles and skill development in farm planning, analysis and management.

From 1st – 10th August of 2010, thirteen participants from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam attended the test-run of the training course in Nha Trang university Vietnam. The experiential-learning based training approach enabled participants to integrate their own aquaculture experiences into the learning process. The test-run course was a success. Participants expressed their satisfaction at the end of the training course and considered the training course was highly relevant, useful, and practical and in great need. Feedback from both participants and trainers generated further mprovements to the course. It was expected that the training course be further improved and offered to a wider public to benefit small scale aquaculture throughout the region.

The training course will be offered for the second successive year from 10th to 20th of July 2011 at the Faculty of Aquaculture, Nha Trang University (NU), Vietnam. We are inviting interested professional to apply.

How to apply
Download the application form from NACA website, fill in and send it to NACA through post, fax or email. Download the farm information collection sheet, fill in and send it to NACA via email to yuan 'at' You will be acknowledged of acceptance after your application is approved by NACA Director General. We would also appreciate it if you would fill in an information sheet about your farm.

Course structure
The course will consist of nine modules, most of which would be stand alone in contents, concepts covered but with continuity.

Module 1: Facets of small scale aquaculture
The introductory module consists of three parts. The first part provides an over view of current status and trends of global aquaculture development with a focus on Asia where more than 90% of global production is produced. In the second part the concept of “small scale aquaculture??? is defined, its characteristics described and problems and issues facing small scale aquaculture examined. The third part features a few typical Asian aquaculture systems including shrimp culture, cage culture and Vietnamese catfish culture with the latest information from field practice and research.

Module 2: Economic principles: applications in small scale aquaculture practices
The module deals with basic principles of economics including demand and supply, product pricing and markets and time effect on value of money.

Module 3: Physical & biological factors impacting on economic viability of small scale aquaculture practices
The module closely examines some major physical and biological factors which affect small scale aquaculture practice in association with economic performances. Disease and food safety issues, and control measures are also discussed in this module.

Module 4: BMPs and clusters – way forwards
Implementation of better management practices and organisation of small scale farmers are considered as the most important approaches for small scale farmers to improve production efficiency, safeguard food quality and safety, increase environment compatibility and gain the market entry. This module deals with major aspects related to BMPs – their development, implementation and impacts on small scale aquaculture. Some examples BMPs are presented and cluster concept is emphasised in organising small scale farmers.

Module 5: Production and how to understand the economic pathways of aquaculture operations
Production functions and cost and revenue functions and concepts of marginal analysis are presented in this module. Participants are able to understand how various inputs contribute to production and how the variation and combination of inputs will affect economic performance. The principle of economic scale is also dealt in this module.

Module 6: Cost and benefit analysis applied to small scale aquaculture practices
Focusing on profit maximisation as a production goal, concepts of production costs and analytical tools are introduced to evaluate profitability of aquaculture operations.

Module 7: Investment and financing as instruments to improve small scale aquaculture business
The module focuses on aspects of investment and financing for aquaculture. Analytical tools are introduced for appraising investment purposes, computing capital requirement, acquiring investment, and projecting cash flow.

Module 8: Valuation - approaches to assessing the worth of aquaculture business opportunity
Continue with module 7, this module further introduce several methods for evaluating aquaculture business opportunities or investment projects. These methods include calculations of payback period, net present values and determination of proper internal return rate (discount rate).

Module 9: Additional material - case studies
This module provide opportunities for participants to practice analytical and management tools based field information systematically collected by the training team.

Cases available are:
  • Shrimp farmer case in Vietnam.

  • Catfish farmer case studies.

  • Marine cage culture case study from Indonesia.
In addition, participants are required to collect and bring their own farm cases to the training course. They will critically examine these farm data and evaluate both technical and economic performances through individual work, group discussion and class presentation.

Who should attend
Hatchery managers, technicians, researchers, extension officers, and other aquaculture professionals who are seeking to expand knowledge and obtain business management in aquaculture.

  • At least five years experience in aquaculture practice and direct field experience preferred.

  • Age not over 45 years old.

  • Adequate language proficiency in listening, speaking and reading in English.
Travel route and airport pick-up
Participants are advised to make the following arrangement for their flight route: Home country to Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi to Nha Trang, and from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi to home country. Participants will be met at Nha Trang airport by organisers. It is advised that participants should arrive in Nha Trang Vietnam on 8 – 9 July 2011.

Course fee
  • Participants from NACA member states: US$ 1,500.

  • Participants from other countries: US$ 1,800.
The training fee covers costs for tuition, shared-room accommodation during stay in Nha Trang (from 9th – 20th July 2011), most lunches and some dinners, airport pickup, local transportation and materials and supplies for training related activities. The fee does not cover international and domestic flights to and from the nearest airport.

Limited scholarships are available for participants from selected NACA member countries. The scholarship covers the costs for international and domestic flights, tuition, shared-room accommodation during stay in Nha Trang (from 9th – 20th July 2011), most lunches and some dinners, airport pickup, local transportation and materials and supplies for training related activities. The scholarship recipients must be farmer leaders, small scale aquaculture operators, and government extension officers.

Contact point
For more information, please download the flyer or contact:

Mr Yuan Derun
Coordinator, Education and Training
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific
P.O. Box 1040
Kasetsart University Post Office
Ladyao, Jatujak
Bangkok, 10903
Phone: +66-2 561 1728 ext. 111

Email yuan 'at'

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