The Secretariat of the Pacific Community reported a training course on economic factors for aquaculture was held in Suva, Fiji Islands in July 2005. Government officers and bank investment specialists from Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu learnt how to use economic modelling software to assess the viability of an aquaculture enterprise.
The economic modelling software has been developed jointly by SPC, the University of the South Pacific and Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, for aquaculture and agriculture commodities, is available for free download (10.7 Mb) from the web site.
The workshop was the first in a series of sub regional training workshops for aquaculture. Beside SPC, this regional initiative has gathered specialists from the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Institute of Marine Resources (IMR), Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI&F), and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
“The lack of knowledge on aquaculture economics and marketing is a major restraint to growth of aquaculture in the Pacific,” says Ben Ponia, Aquaculture Adviser with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Each country was asked to identify a high priority aquaculture commodity which was adopted as a training case-study. Other workshop objectives included providing trainees with theoretical principles and best practices in the marketing of products, and teaching how to incorporate financial economic data and marketing strategies into a business plan which may be used to support investment and collaborative ventures.