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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter eleven: Program design - week two
View the documentSession II-1: Management plan (part one)
View the documentSession II-2: Group discussion - profit incentive in fish farming
View the documentSession II-3: Stocking of ponds
View the documentSession II-4: Group discussion - fish handling
View the documentSession II-5: Use of tools and pumps
View the documentSession II-6: Trainee evaluation of training - week two

Session II-2: Group discussion - profit incentive in fish farming

Total time: 35 minutes


· Put aquaculture in the context of farming and private enterprise

· Consider the meaning of profit, and how profit is an incentive in aquaculture;

· Encourage reflection on possible preconceived ideas of the Volunteer's role in the development of fish culture.

Overview: This session serves as a forum for a group discussion, primarily among the trainees, during which they can reflect upon an aspect of the job they will do overseas they may not yet have considered in depth. Some trainees may not actually think of aquaculture as a type of farming, or as a business. Often, trainees have preconceived notions about why fish culture is being promoted in the countries in which they will serve, how fish culture is perceived by host country farmers, and what the host country farmers hope to gain by raising fish. For some, the word "profit" has negative connotations. This discussion is not necessarily meant to result in any concrete conclusions, but is meant to provide food for thought and to help trainees see fish farming, and their roles as Peace Corps fisheries extensionists, in a more realistic light.

30 minutes

1. The trainer introduces the session by telling the trainees that they should spend this time thinking and talking about the idea of fish farming for profit. The trainer facilitates the session mainly by maintaining some order, if necessary, and by posing questions that may help trigger reflection and discussion. Suggested questions include:

· What do you think/feel when you hear the word "profit"?

· Why does this word sometimes elicit a negative response from many young Americans?

· What is profit? Define the term.

· Should farmers be trying to make a profit in a country where people are trying to feed themselves?

· Why might a person want to turn fish into money?

· What is a cash crop? What is a subsistence crop?

· What if a farmer only has cash crops? What if he only has subsistence crops?

· What happens to a country if farmers do not make a profit?

· What do you think happens to the fish culture business if farmers do not make a profit?

5 minutes

2. The trainer brings the meeting to a close by asking for a volunteer to summarize what has been discussed. Encourage the trainees to continue to think about this topic and to discuss it further among themselves.

Trainer Notes:

· It is hoped that the trainees will come away from this meeting with a stronger sense of the importance of profit as the main incentive for fish farmers. This will be especially provocative for those trainees who previously may have viewed the purpose of fish farming in developing countries as being strictly for subsistence and improved health, and who may have had the idea that people in developing countries are less interested in profit than are people from "developed" countries;

· In defining profit, it is hoped that trainees will conclude that profit does not have to be in the form of money (though, ultimately, money is important to farmers everywhere), but that no farmer is likely to continue farming a crop that does not produce a profit in some form.