In a bid to help alleviate poverty, the WorldFish project seeks to create 10,000 aquaculture jobs in five governorates of Egypt. These efforts should generate greater profits by
focusing on the farming of higher-yield fish species, better feed, and the reuse of breeding ponds during the winter months for agricultural purposes. Further aims of the project include the more
efficient use of water during the production process, as well as improvements to the existing institutional and regulatory frameworks. As an inexpensive source of protein, fish can allow the poor to
enjoy a more balanced and nutritious diet.
Concrete solutions to economic hardship
The protests of Spring 2011 in Egypt were sparked not only by discontent with the political situation in the country, but also by the
high level of unemployment, the dearth of economic prospects for much of the Egyptian population and rising food prices. This is why the SDC focuses its cooperation efforts in Egypt on creating jobs
and improving access to affordable, nutritional food for the disadvantaged.
Fish farming: an important source of income for rural Egypt
The last few years have seen the rapid expansion of Egypt’s aquaculture sector. It now provides over 100'000 full
or part‐time jobs along the value chain from production to final sale, and is now one of the largest economic sectors in rural Egypt. However, there are a number of challenges along the way to
further growth, including low profitability and the inefficient use of water.
To boost profits, the project plans to focus on farming higher-yield fish species, as well as better feed, and the reuse of breeding ponds during the winter months for agricultural purposes.
The SDC’s partner, WorldFish, is an international aquaculture research institute, which has a designated research centre in the Nile Delta region. Over the years it has managed to foster an
excellent working relationship with both fish producers and the relevant public authorities.
The project should create a total of 10'000 jobs in the Egyptian governorates of Beheira, El-Fayoum, Ash-Sharqiya and Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile Delta. In all, 9'142 jobs will be created in the
aquaculture sector, and there will be 900 new jobs for female fish traders. The aquaculture sector in the governorate of Minya in Upper Egypt will be entirely restructured, leading to the creation of
a further 250 jobs.
To minimise the impact of fish farming on the environment, there are plans to run a series of pilot projects and information campaigns on efficient water use.
In addition, the existing institutional and regulatory frameworks will be strengthened through the establishment and consolidation of producer and trader associations. The project also aims to
improve food security for poor communities.
Results so far from the specific perspective of the beneficiaries
The project was launched at the end of 2011. Its efforts are currently focused on the breeding of
higher-yield fish species and on laying the groundwork for the roll-out of the project. It should take two years to create the first round of jobs.
This project, which is jointly carried out by WorldFish and its local partner CARE Egypt, benefits from SDC funding totalling CHF 4.18 million. The project is set to run until 2014, but there is
the option of extending it until 2016.
Through the WorldFish project, Switzerland seeks to create jobs in poor, rural areas of Egypt. Its efforts should help mitigate the problem of unemployment,
which has long blighted the Egyptian economy. Switzerland is committed to ensuring that its support is clearly targeted and practical so as to multiply the positive outcomes of one single project:
employment opportunities for both women and men, an improved life cycle assessment, public services that are better equipped to regulate the sector, and a more balanced and nutritional diet for the
most disadvantaged communities.
The project in brief
Federal institutions involved
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Boosting employment opportunities in the aquaculture sector
Egypt (Delta region and Upper Egypt)
WorldFish und CARE Egypt
Although the Egyptian aquaculture sector has grown considerably, its profitability remains low. Fish farming
is a major source of income for the economy of rural Egypt. In addition, fish is an important part of the staple diet of the poor.
Job opportunities for both women and men; enhanced life cycle assessment; improved institutional and regulatory frameworks; a more balanced and nutritional diet
for poor communities.
Fish farmers and traders, the unemployed and poor communities in the target regions, producer associations, and public services.
SDC: CHF 4.18 million
2011–2014 (with the option to extend the project until 2016)